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Counter-Visualisations of Ensemble Forecasts (for Mainstream Use)

What is the project about?

Numerical weather prediction models (NWP) calculate and recalculate―from real weather observations (initial states of the atmosphere) and from equations simulating (multiple) physical conditions―possible future weather scenarios. Mainstream weather reports broadly feature “deterministic” forecasts staging a single potential evolution of the atmosphere. Taking into account the dynamic and complex realities of the planet, “probabilistic” or “ensemble” forecasts stage a set of possible scenarios in the form of charts or diagrams (see the ECMWF ENS Meteograms for example). Questioning (and challenging) the modern and anthropocene style of diagrammatic visualizations, the project aims to reflect on aesthetics that perform designed (computer) realities and uncertainty as noises―hence possibilities.

What is your research question?

Exploring the current ecological crisis as a cultural artifact, could formal elements such as pixels, noises, or blurs initiate a new aesthetic that stages the complex and designed realities of weather as multiple scenarios? Can we imagine a new “epistemic virtue” (Daston and Galison, 2010) that potentially defines a non-anthropocentric objectivity made of human and non-human relations and collaborations? Can we formally stage the weather forecast(s) as "boundary objects" (Bowker and Star, 1999)?

What methods, data sets, and tools are used?

Creative coding: Using the Open-Meteo Weather Forecast API, we will visualize seven forecast scenarios (based on seven NWP models) for a selection of locations, using following parameters : Daily mean of Total Cloud Cover (okta); Daily Distribution of 10m Wind Direction; Daily mean of 10m Wind Speed (m/s).

Who is part of the team?

Simone Fehlinger, Damien Baïs, Paul Heinicker