Illustrated Research magazine kicked off Women’s History Month (March 2019) with a project pairing together female scientists and illustrators.
I collaborated with researcher Samantha Ballard (@air.sea.sam) to illustrate her work on climate. Samantha’s work is a case study of winter 2014-2015 in the US with a focus on State College, PA.
The goal of this project is show how climatological variables, such as temperature, pressure, height, compare December- March 2014-2015 to the mean 30-year climatological period from 1979 to 2009.The dataset used in this study is the Climate Forecast System (CFS) which is a model that represents the global interactions between earth’s oceans, land and atmosphere.
The contour plots (A) show composite averages over the 30 year climatological period for each month (December-March). The overall pattern for the winter months is shown over North America. These data capture the evolution of the strong and persistent high pressure ridge which developed over the eastern Pacific which kept northerly cold air flow into east-central North America.
The point data plots compare the point measurements of 850 mb temperatures in State, College for each month of the season to the 30-year mean for the specific month. The months were generally within one standard deviation of the mean (or on average) but show some periods of above average and below average throughout the month.
It should be emphasised that this study compares the current climate to a climatological average on a local and regional scale, not on a global one. On a regional scale the winter of 2014-2015 in the United States had periods below average due to cold arctic air extending from strong low pressure ridges in Canada. However, on a global scale in 2015, based on NOAA climate data, the temperature anomalies were 0.9 degrees Celsius higher when compared to the global surface temperatures from 1901-2000