When we created Dark Sky, our core focus was on the idea of “hyperlocal” forecasting: knowing when it was going to rain at your exact location, with high precision. The old way of delivering the weather for an entire town or region was replaced by forecasts covering precisely where you are standing right now.
We’ve taken that same philosophy and have extended it beyond precipitation. Today, we’re excited to launch a new experiment: Quicksilver, a hyperlocal real-time map of global temperature. As far as we know, it’s the highest resolution map of its kind anywhere.
Each pixel measures, at most, 3.5 miles on a side — enough resolution to capture microclimate effects effects due to hills, valleys, proximity to water, etc. To put that in perspective, there are over 400 temperature zones in an area the size of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
It regenerates every hour, providing a constantly updating snapshot of air temperature around the globe.
It is still highly experimental (check out the caveats below), but we decided to making it available as is, starting today. It can be accessed as a 16-bit grayscale GeoTIFF image, which can be read programmatically or loaded into various off-the-shelf GIS tools. More info can be found here.
(They’ve also animated it.)
In our next blog post, we’ll go into more detail on how exactly we generate Quicksilver images. So stay tuned!
This is still highly experimental, and verification has been limited. We currently validate it in the US by comparing it to RTMA data put out by NOAA, but there is a lot more work yet to be done.
Due to the nature of our ground-station and satellite-based adjustments, temperature data over oceans has a lower effective resolution and accuracy.
Areas where the ocean meets the land contains a number of discontinuities and inconsistencies.
We don’t provide any warranty or guarantee of uptime / accuracy. Use at your own risk (for now).
If you do anything cool with it, please let us know!
By Adam Grossman