Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ten years of cumulative precipitation

Ten years of cumulative precipitation

January 28, 2013 to Mapping by Nathan Yau
We've all seen rain maps for a sliver of time. Screw that. I want to see the total amount of rainfall over a ten-year period. Bill Wheaton did just that in the video above, showing cumulative rainfall between 1960 and 1970. The cool part is that you see mountains appear, but they're not actually mapped.  Source on FlowingData
The hillshaded terrain (the growing hills and mountains) is based on the rainfall data, not on actual physical topography. In other words, hills and mountains are formed by the rainfall distribution itself and grow as the accumulated precipitation grows. High mountains and sharp edges occur where the distribution of precipitation varies substantially across short distances. Wide, broad plains and low hills are formed when the distribution of rainfall is relatively even across the landscape.
See also Wheaton's video that shows four years of rain straight up.
Is there more recent data? It could be an interesting complement to the drought maps we saw a few months ago. [Thanks, Bill]

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