I could stare at this for hours:
Well, not this image exactly, because it’s a screenshot. But if you go to the Earth Wind Map site, you can watch the wind currents of the Earth moving in real time. It’s a hell of a feat of mapping, data crunching, and mathematics, and it’s beautiful.
You can rotate the planet using your mouse (or finger, on an iDevice) to focus on your areas of personal interest, or to check out where the coolest gyres and interactions are. You can also zoom in for more detail.
After a few days of watching this, I’m beginning to see how vulnerable the UK is to weather, and how often there’s a calm strip in the north-central Atlantic, which corresponds almost exactly with the entrance to the Mediterranean. And if you want to see something really interesting, pull up Antarctica and watch the wind currents all around it. I’ll be curious to see how these summer winds compare to what it will look like six months from now.