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In a May morning, a gray-haired woman counts the opened blooms on the bud clusters of a lilac branch that is just starting to release its sweet fragrance. She then goes into her house to access an Internet site, where she logs today as the "first bloom" date of her lilac plant.

Explore the spatial patterns observed in meteorological data and learn how this information is used to predict weather and understand climate behavior. By observing patterns in data we can classify our observations and investigate underlying cause and effect relationships.

In 2015, Ethiopia endured its worst drought in decades. While there is some indication that this April has been drier than normal in some areas, the intensity of the drought this year will not be clear until later in 2016.

A persistent heatwave has been lingering over parts of Europe, setting record high temperatures and turning typically green landscapes to brown.

It is frigid in much of Canada and the Midwestern and Eastern United States. Daily low-temperature records have dropped like snowflakes. New Year’s polar plunges have been canceled due to the cold, and many people in the Southeast are in a battle to keep their pipes from freezing.

One of the key "vital signs" of Earth's vegetation is the total green leaf area for a given ground area. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites collects global Leaf Area Index (LAI) data on a daily basis.

The colors on these maps show a measure of the "greenness" of Earth's landscapes. The values on these maps—ranging from -0.1 to 0.9—have no unit.