Hot day in the global village

Everyone's been telling me that it's the hottest day of the year so far in Madison, Wisconsin: it's crossed 90F for the first time this year.

The folks at Madison that I'm meeting with are satellite experts.  I come from the radar world of Norman, so it's been interesting to see their outlook.  Their world is quite different from ours.  The weather radars we work with are surface-based instruments, so our domain is usually just the continental United States.  Satellites have a global view and so, it seems, these people think globally.  Examples of the data sets they showed me today to demonstrate some of their algorithm work included data from the Czech Republic and South Africa.

It's not just the data that has me thinking of the difference between the outlooks in Norman and Madison.  The roads in Madison all have bicycle lanes.  There are scooters everywhere. The lakeside vista is gorgeous.

Someone even has a suitably global hypothesis for why it's been so cool this year.  He showed me data from a newly mounted lidar on the roof of the SSEC building:  plume from a volcanic eruption in the Aleutian Islands shows up as a flat layer at 19 km.

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