It’s been colder than usual this week in most of the U.S. If you’ve been watching weather reports and the maps that go with them, you’ve seen snapshots depicting that cold air blanketing the nation.
To get a more comprehensive view of what’s been happening all week, take a look at this fascinating animation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), commonly known as the National Weather Service. Those trusty weather watchers say a drop in the jet stream caused a week-long cold snap across the country.
This animated graphic shows how temperatures changed across the U.S. between last Saturday and today.
This animated graphic shows how temperatures changed across the U.S. between last Saturday and today. To create the animation, the NOAA used a series of data from its Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis Areas, consisting of graphics it uses to visualize weather conditions over widespread areas.
In this map, notice how the blue area (depicting temperatures below 32°F) slides across the country from the north, slightly receding as each day breaks when the temperature rises.
Looking for relief from the cold? Some of you are in luck: The National Weather Service says in the next three months, temperatures will be warmer than average in the Southwest and Northeast, but cooler than average in the Northwest.
Graphic and video courtesy NOAA