Hans on IoT

ThingSpeak, MATLAB, and the Internet of Things

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What is a Bomb Cyclone? Use ThingSpeak and MATLAB to Figure it Out.

Posted by Hans Scharler,

Social media is blowing up the term bomb cyclone. The term is everywhere from Twitter to 24/7 news coverage of the storm hitting the East Coast of the United States. The technical term for a bomb cyclone is bombogenesis which is the combination of “bomb” and “cyclogenesis.” Or, you could call it an explosive cyclogenesis to grab views to your blog.

A storm undergoes bombogenesis when its central low pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

At the MathWorks headquarters in Natick, MA we have a weather station sending data to ThingSpeak for the past several years. Here’s what the weather station looks like on a better day.

Not many interesting events emerge from the data, but with something called a bomb cyclone, Rob Purser decided to take a closer look using MATLAB. Our weather station on ThingSpeak channel 12397 collects temperature, humidity, and pressure data. By taking a look at this MATLAB plot of the pressure analyzed over 24 hours, you will see the pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours and in fact over 40 millibars. This storm definitely fits its name of explosive cyclogenesis.

Have a look at the raw data from ThingSpeak and see if you can determine the bomb cyclone event. In MATLAB, use thingSpeakRead via the ThingSpeak Support Toolbox. We documented the process of analyzing the weather station data using MATLAB on Hackster.io. Just follow the steps using MATLAB or MATLAB Online, to discover some interesting results.

Stay warm.

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