Haha, fair enough. I suppose a good deal of what worldbuilding is is simply playing God, "And here there shall be land! And here there shall be ocean! And here shall be monsoon winds!" I was wondering though, if you know of any tutorials or good places to learn about how to form ocean currents? I've read the climate cookbook, but its section on ocean currents isn't very clear, and I was wondering if there was anything better to use?
I tried to follow this, and I'm so lost...
I tried to follow this, and I got to here:
And I realized that it looked AWFUL, *and* I was obviously doing something wrong. >.<
Do you know where I messed up? I didn't save at each step so I can't go back and find it... :(
Cookierobber - if you've followed the generalized wind maps thoughts like above, and you have a set of summer and winter conditions you like, then look at the ocean basins, divided by the equator, and see if there's any consistent 'push' going on. My understanding is that a huge driver - literally - for surface currents is the drag of surface winds. If both winter and summer circulation has a bunch of wind shoving water one way, maybe that's a decently strong current... with the concurrent action being any water that goes somewhere has to come back somehow. So even if some of the year winds are against an obvious return current, both slosh and elsewhere-flow will push along there anyway. I can't find it just now but I've blathered in that vein on here somewhere too - water currents as well as air thus all being influenced by these high & low cells.
Jalyha -- so what tilt does this world of yours have? If much, then you'll get not just the kind of things you show, but also a somewhat different set on the other side of the sun. As far as looking wrong - well, the placement of highs and lows can't be a rigid set of rules - air is quite fluid and can't exactly stay piled up somewhere. So imagine highs and lows once 'initially' placed by the rules of thumb as 'settling out' in a sort of birds-settling-on-a-wire manner. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, till things are even-ishly distributed. To some degree a high is just where a low *isn't* and a low is where highs *aren't*. Are you depicting northern-hemisphere winter there, or summer? You seem to have taken a stab at the 'continental high in winter' thought from post five above...
Yeah that's what I was trying to do :) "continental high/winter"
It's... pretty close to the same tilt as earth would have I suppose :)
And I think the "birds on a wire" thing helped. :D I will try shuffling again in the morning ^_^! Thanks so much
I've had trouble with some of the winds, but I found a solution that works well enough I'll share. Since I'm having to redo my continent due to client (GM) requests, I'll use some of those images.
I make a hex overlay of the map - large hexes that are hundreds of miles across. (I'm using GIMP, and RobA's hex grid script found here.)
I note (specially mark) the centermost hex of any land mass that covers at least one hex. Given a choice of two almost-center hexes I choose the most easterly. If the choices are equidistant east which I choose depends on season. If winter the one furthest from the equator, if summer the closer. And I also note the critical latitudinal lines: equator, 30, and 60.
I make two of these maps, one for summer and one for winter. For each I mark the continental center(s) as high for winter and low for summer.
Summer: Attachment 62397 Winter: Attachment 62398
(For the rest of this I'll do summer only.)
So now that I've got all this, I start drawing prevailing wind in each hex. It's really simple in principle though you get a couple of fun frustrations. Basically you find the closest high or low and you draw an arrow so it point to the hex side one to the right (north hemisphere) or left (south hemisphere) of that direction. You turn the arrow because of coriolis, which has already been mentioned in this thread.
You've got occasional conflicts. For simplicity I always assume the strongest zone - high or low - is the zone on the continent. This eliminates most problems. However, as you can see by the map I get places where the wind seems to go opposite directions. I've got those highlighted with a red zone on this map:
Even so I can begin to see how the rain falls. First pass I start with an arrow that's over water and pointing toward land then draw a line till it reaches mountain or is past the continent. Second pass I look for hexes that have 'dry' arrows and back up to see if there are any water-lines they may reasonably have picked up. Eventually I wind up with a 'wet' map:
Now as it happens this gives me some dry areas I don't want dry, so I'm going to be tweaking things (mountain ranges, axial tilt of the continent, latitude - that sort of thing) to get some rain where I want it. But it was an easy way to figure out where the heck the winds were blowing.
Note that if I need more precision for rain I can use smaller hexes.
What a clever scheme! This could perhaps be automated - and as is, seems able to generate some plausible results with maybe less wild guesswork than intuitive rules of thumb. Well done: we want to see more !