Visualizing a year of sky in major cities

To keep us sane as we comb through the data from our latest Europe wide survey, we occasionally explore publicly available data to create interesting visualizations. In the following infographics, we used the Weather Underground’s historical data to create a visual snapshot of the weather in 2015 in major cities across the globe. We picked 24 cities that were well-populated and had the most robust data available. We used cloud cover and temperature as the metrics for the visualization.

The gif is a visual interpretation of cloud cover, a meteorological metric for how much of the sky is visible and how much is obscured by clouds. Cloud cover is measured on a scale from 0 to 8, 0 being a completely clear sky and 8 being a sky completely obscured by clouds. For the gif, we changed this scale to a percentage which corresponded with the clouds’ opacity in the sky.


In the static infographic, we simply corresponded the temperature value and cloud cover value to a color spectrum.
(click to enlarge)


From the 24 cities we used, we found that Los Angeles, USA actually had the clearest skies last year (although cloud cover doesn’t necessarily account for smog or pollution) and Lima, Peru had the cloudiest skies. Additionally, Moscow was the coldest of the 24 cities on average while Jakarta, Indonesia was the hottest.