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    Canonfire :: View topic - Aligning Greyhawk weather with the real world
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    Aligning Greyhawk weather with the real world
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2008 3:46 pm  
    Aligning Greyhawk weather with the real world

    I had this crazy thought of equating a Greyhawk region with a real world region (state) in regards to weather. The reason for this is that one could lookup weather reports and correlate that to a game being run. This would add a bit of "realism" and perhaps variety. Has anybody done this type of correlation?

    What are your thoughts?
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2008 3:55 pm  

    Interesting idea. One difficulty I see though would be that the game world season would differ from the real season most of the time. Effort may have to be made to keep them in sync with one another. One could download weather reports and then arrange them accordingly to downplay the problem.

    As for where to go for a report, well I think that the various areas of the Flanaess may have to be broken up for some sort of accuracy and more than one real-world region consulted.

    The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer gives some mention of weather for various areas. There is also a download for Greyhawk weather here on Canonfire but I haven't used it (I think it wasn't compatible for my computer). There also was a Dragon Magazine issue somewhere are issue #72 or so (don't quote me on the exact issue but it was close to that I believe) that had a weather generation system for Greyhawk.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Thu May 01, 2008 5:14 pm  

    I can get past weather records from www.wunderground.com


    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Interesting idea. One difficulty I see though would be that the game world season would differ from the real season most of the time. Effort may have to be made to keep them in sync with one another. One could download weather reports and then arrange them accordingly to downplay the problem.

    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2008 5:24 pm  

    check this Weather Forecaster for Greyhawk World:

    http://wf.suurpeikko.net/
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    Thu May 01, 2008 5:36 pm  

    Wow. Weird. Great. THANKS!

    Derfelca wrote:
    check this Weather Forecaster for Greyhawk World:

    http://wf.suurpeikko.net/
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    Thu May 01, 2008 6:16 pm  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:

    There also was a Dragon Magazine issue somewhere are issue #72 or so (don't quote me on the exact issue but it was close to that I believe) that had a weather generation system for Greyhawk.


    Are you thinking about the Weather in the World of Greyhawk article? That was in issue 68 of Dragon. (The first Dragon magazine I ever bought)
    (I'm not trying to show off, just wanted to steer people in the right direction if they're looking)


    Anyway, the idea of using real world weather records for Greyhawk weather is interesting. One thing to consider is the effect geography has on the weather. I live near one of the Great Lakes, and it often has a significant effect on our weather. In the winter, we get lake effect snow, in the summer our forecasts almost always have "cooler near the lake" added to them (in winter, the lakes keep us slightly warmer), and right now, because water changes temperature more slowly than land, winds coming in off the lake keep us cooler.

    Perrenland has a large enough lake near it, but those mountains that nearly surround it may affect weather as well, so those would need to be taken into account also.

    I think the biggest problem will be that few areas of the Flanaess really resemble a real world location that much. The area around the Barrens, and the Baklunish nomad nations may come close to the northern Great Plains, and some of the mountain ranges may have analogues as well, but I'm hard pressed to think of other areas that fit well. However, I admit that as I'm posting this, I am doing this quickly, and haven;t taken time to think about it much. So by all means, anyone who wants to take the time on this, please do. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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    Thu May 01, 2008 6:34 pm  

    I am thinking they do EXCEPT it will be a patchwork of locations that may involve different continents. The problem then would be to find a source (in english) that one could easily access.

    One location might = the Alps
    another = Florida
    another = Tibet
    another= Pacific NW
    another = portions of India



    [quote="BlueWitch"]
    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:


    I think the biggest problem will be that few areas of the Flanaess really resemble a real world location that much.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 01, 2008 9:40 pm  

    Bluewitch wrote:
    Quote:
    Are you thinking about the Weather in the World of Greyhawk article? That was in issue 68 of Dragon. (The first Dragon magazine I ever bought).


    Yes that is the issue indeed. I could picture the cover in my head and knew roughly the issue number, I just couldn't motivate myself to go through all my magazines. I have a large collection and they are currently not in numerical order. Thanks.

    Bluewitch wrote:
    Quote:
    Anyway, the idea of using real world weather records for Greyhawk weather is interesting. One thing to consider is the effect geography has on the weather. I live near one of the Great Lakes, and it often has a significant effect on our weather. In the winter, we get lake effect snow, in the summer our forecasts almost always have "cooler near the lake" added to them (in winter, the lakes keep us slightly warmer), and right now, because water changes temperature more slowly than land, winds coming in off the lake keep us cooler.

    Perrenland has a large enough lake near it, but those mountains that nearly surround it may affect weather as well, so those would need to be taken into account also.

    I think the biggest problem will be that few areas of the Flanaess really resemble a real world location that much. The area around the Barrens, and the Baklunish nomad nations may come close to the northern Great Plains, and some of the mountain ranges may have analogues as well, but I'm hard pressed to think of other areas that fit well. However, I admit that as I'm posting this, I am doing this quickly, and haven;t taken time to think about it much. So by all means, anyone who wants to take the time on this, please do. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


    These were my thoughts as well which was why I suggested having several key locations in which to call upon. Derfelco's weather program was very neat. It won't take into consideration factors like the lake water and other individual weather variants, but it was pretty cool or hot depending upon where in the Flanaess you are standing and what your preferred method of expression is when you find something you like. I'm not big on computerizing my gaming (other than doing the writing and storing of data) but I can sure see how a program like Derfelca left would be handy. Curious Derelca, how did you find this little item?

    I know what I have toyed with is trying to use the information in the DMG and then having simple modifiers based on the descriptions given in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Such efforts allow individual considerations because I would have the information with the local things such as encounter tables for that region. Granted I've barely done anything with it, I think I had a few modifiers for the Greyhawk area and that is about it. I know when I read the entries I do pay attention to weather so that I can get a better idea of what it would be like. Because of the tediousness of weather generation either in or out of the game and the small effect it seems to have (most of the time) I didn't get very far with it, though if I ever get back into full blown campaign development again I would still do it for the feeling of completion of a given area. The times I have used weather in which it made a difference was predetermined by me and was more plot driven than randomization. I don't normally like to predetermine such things however as it feels like railroading the plot which really isn't my style of play. I guess I would fall back on making my own charts beginning with that in the DMG and just customizing it for specific regions. Tedious yes, useful, probably not. Eileen's way of doing things, pretty much!
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    Fri May 02, 2008 7:23 am  

    One problem with using real-world weather is that it doesn't take into account the actions of druids, elemental-planar gates, and other things that do really weird things to the weather. This creates some of the non-standard weather effects that appear in the greyhawk random weather generator included in the old boxed set. You don't typically see rampaging fire elementals during especially dry and windy conditions in the southwest... or DO you? Hmmm.

    Don
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    Fri May 02, 2008 7:53 am  

    IronGolem wrote:
    One problem with using real-world weather is that it doesn't take into account the actions of druids, elemental-planar gates, and other things that do really weird things to the weather. This creates some of the non-standard weather effects that appear in the greyhawk random weather generator included in the old boxed set. You don't typically see rampaging fire elementals during especially dry and windy conditions in the southwest... or DO you? Hmmm.

    Don


    No elementals during bad weather? What do you think tornados are, just big circular storms? Sheesh, some people will believe anything. ;-)
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    Fri May 02, 2008 7:54 am  

    The Azure Sea is a major weather decider for the southern part of the Flanaess (all along that coast and then inland somewhat). One question concerning currents that will be critical: Is the Azure Sea a closed current system or does a current flow up from the Pearl Sea through the Densac Gulf? If a current flows up through the Densac Gulf, then this could pump more heat energy into the Azure Sea.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat May 03, 2008 5:22 am  

    That is a very good idea.

    Furyondy = Ohio
    Iuz = Quebec
    Greyhawk/Dyvers = Washington DC
    the Barrens = Dakotas
    Pomarj = South Carolina
    Southern Keoland = Louisiana
    Perrenland = Idaho
    Ekbir/Zief = Florida
    Paynims = Great Plains
    Sea of Dust = Death Valley
    South Province = East Texas
    Nyrond = Missouri
    Thillonrian = Alaska
    Ratik = Maine
    North Province = New England
    Great Kingdom = Alabama
    Lordship of the Isles = Puerto Rico
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    Sat May 03, 2008 6:46 am  

    Thanks - I do appreciate it.

    OleOneEye wrote:
    That is a very good idea.

    Furyondy = Ohio
    Iuz = Quebec
    Greyhawk/Dyvers = Washington DC
    the Barrens = Dakotas
    Pomarj = South Carolina
    Southern Keoland = Louisiana
    Perrenland = Idaho
    Ekbir/Zief = Florida
    Paynims = Great Plains
    Sea of Dust = Death Valley
    South Province = East Texas
    Nyrond = Missouri
    Thillonrian = Alaska
    Ratik = Maine
    North Province = New England
    Great Kingdom = Alabama
    Lordship of the Isles = Puerto Rico
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat May 03, 2008 11:14 am  

    What no Minnesota (US)? How can that be. Surely we Minnesotians must have a greater influence over the Flanaess than this. It is a well known fact that Oerth's weather is magic related. What is little known is that this magic originates from Minnesota.
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    Sat May 03, 2008 4:20 pm  

    Actually, we in the other 49 states have had a meeting. We've decided to force Minnesota to secede. It's for your own good, ya know...
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    Sat May 03, 2008 4:26 pm  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    That is a very good idea.

    Furyondy = Ohio
    Iuz = Quebec
    Greyhawk/Dyvers = Washington DC
    the Barrens = Dakotas
    Pomarj = South Carolina
    Southern Keoland = Louisiana
    Perrenland = Idaho
    Ekbir/Zief = Florida
    Paynims = Great Plains
    Sea of Dust = Death Valley
    South Province = East Texas
    Nyrond = Missouri
    Thillonrian = Alaska
    Ratik = Maine
    North Province = New England
    Great Kingdom = Alabama
    Lordship of the Isles = Puerto Rico


    I'd agree to most of this save Ekbir/Zeif being the equivalent of Florida. Way too far north. Probably more like Northern California to Oregon, maybe even Wahington State. Also, Greyhawk City and Dyvers should be more like Chicago and Milwakee (see the above post about lake effect weather and look at these cities' location to the Nyr Dyv). And Eileen - would you accept the Horned Society-Bandit Kingdoms for Minnesota? Laughing Just my two coppers...
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    Sat May 03, 2008 5:03 pm  

    It might be easier to analyse the supposed and known weather patterns of the Flanaess and apply "temperate", "arid", "subtropical", etc. accordingly. Beginning in the baklunish northwest - we have wide plains and an ocean with a cold current running along the coast. This creates a cool temperate climate like one would find in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Traveling south, it gets warmer and drier, becoming steppe and desert like Central Asia. Over the high Sulhaut Mts., we encounter the preternatural Sea of Dust, which because of lingering magic and natural climate is a hot, dry wasteland unlike anything on Earth. East, over the Hellfurnaces, the Amedio Jungle is hot, humid rain forest, while the lands immediately north are more rugged plains with a subtropical climate akin to the southernmost Mediterranean nations (such as Albania, Serbia, Croatia, Greece and Turkey), though hurricanes surely strike the coasts here with some frequency. Further north into the Sheldomar Valley the land should remain hot and somewhat humid, though sheltered from the violent storms of the south. The zone between the cool temperate baklunish northwest and the Sheldomar's steamy interior is surely rife with storms of great ferocity in the summer months. Moving across the interior of the continent, the central Flanaess likely posseses a mixed temperate climate, and although storms can be ferocious, they likely pale in comparison and frequency to those of the Azure Sea and the summer thunderstorms of Ket, Bissel and the Gran March. The central Flanaess is likely much like our American Plains, and the Ket-Bissel-Gran March basin could be "tornado alley". The south-central Flanaess is going to be warmer and wetter, and the north-central Flanaess colder and drier, but otherwise similar (thus making this region equal to Louisiana through Missouri to Minnesota on up to the Canadian Shield). The eastern Flanaess holds the temperate Aerdi lands, which have weather similar to the North American east coast, from Ratik (Maine) in the north to Sunndi (Florida) in the south. Hurricanes also strike the eastern Flanaess, and although less frequent, they are often stronger than those in the Azure Sea. Hepmonaland, like the Amedio, is a steaming tropical rainforest, as is the Tilvanot penninsula. The Thillornian pennisula, far to the north, suffers from a preternatural cold, as some force or power keeps the lands colder than they should be (the Hanging Glacier?). The southern coasts of the frost and snow barbarians enjoy warm summers and suffer terrible winters (much akin to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in North America), while the lands of the ice barbarians and the Hold of Stonefist are locked permafrost and tundra (much like western Russia and Scandanavia). Blackmoor is another region of tundra, affected by both natural climate and the effects of the nearby Land of Black Ice. The Burneal Forest to its southwest is a perfect example of taiga - a permafrost forest (like those found in Siberia). Some regions may have local variations due to magic, either on a temporary or longer basis. Weather tends to adjust itself when one area is affected (note the El Nino and La Nina effects on North and South American weather). When an area is colder and drier than normal, the weather will shift warmer and wetter air elsewhere. Also, the many weather deities of Oerth can affect weather as they see fit, though usually causing a "correction" also, elsewhere.

    Just some thoughts. Hope I wasn't too long-winded... Laughing
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    Sat May 03, 2008 6:27 pm  

    gargoyle wrote:
    I'd agree to most of this save Ekbir/Zeif being the equivalent of Florida. Way too far north. Probably more like Northern California to Oregon, maybe even Wahington State


    Remember that the Drawmidj is supposed to be a lot warmer than one would expect for its latitude, for whatever reason (vortices to the Elemental Plane of Fire, perhaps). The Baklunish states along the shore of the Drawmidj may not be as warm as Florida, but surely they're not as cold as Seattle. On a world as magical as Oerth, latitude alone is a poor guide. I suppose it depends on how far your sense of belief can be made to stretch: if one likes, one could assume the Drawmidj states were Mediterranean in clime.
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    Sun May 04, 2008 12:45 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Actually, we in the other 49 states have had a meeting. We've decided to force Minnesota to secede. It's for your own good, ya know...


    What blasphemy I say! Well if you force Minnestoa to secede then you have to find ME a new home. Preferrbly someplace warmer in the winter and less humid in the summer.

    Gargoyle, you reccommend either the Horned Soceity or Bandit Kingdoms, really now, you expect me to rub elbows with the riff raff of Greyhawk?

    I think this is a conspiracy against me.

    I'll take Irongate as my spring/summer home until you guys come up with some better solutions. At least the weather in Irongate is described as pleasant year around. Besides, they need a taste of Istus!
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    Sun May 04, 2008 7:10 am  

    rasgon, I could swear I read somewhere that the Drawmij had a cold current running down from the north along the baklunish coast. Maybe that's just my idea. Anyway, perhaps with a relatively warm ocean, combined with the latitude and terrain, we could place the balkunish lands as climatologically similar to France and/or Germany. Its definitely not going to be anything like Florida without serious weather magic.
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    Sun May 04, 2008 7:14 am  

    Eileen, only in climate and terrain would I compare Minnesota to the Horned Society and Bandit Kingdoms. No, for the culture I would expect Minnesotans to more approximate Tehnas, or Urnstans. My personal favorite for a summer home on Greyhawk would be the Free City itself...
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    Sun May 04, 2008 6:34 pm  

    I have recently finished a series of articles on the Dramidj offshore islands.

    Having read alot on the area - The ocean should be colder with the currents from sea of Hyperboria BUT using the famous - for some unknown reason - which is never elaborated on; it isn't. Although several times it is mentioned the Dramidj Ocean currents are warm.

    Janasib Islands (Western Dramidj and closest to the northern current)
    - Balmy and moist

    Qayah-Bureis Islands (Central Dramidj)
    - Temperate

    Ataphad Islands (Eastern Dramidj)
    - Temperate
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    Thu May 08, 2008 2:52 am  

    I think this is a good idea to align greyhawk weather to real world weather. In the past, i have tried to do it for 3 cities/regions :
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=736

    my two eurocents...[/url]
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    Thu May 08, 2008 8:25 am  

    gargoyle wrote:
    rasgon, I could swear I read somewhere that the Drawmij had a cold current running down from the north along the baklunish coast. Maybe that's just my idea. Anyway, perhaps with a relatively warm ocean, combined with the latitude and terrain, we could place the balkunish lands as climatologically similar to France and/or Germany. Its definitely not going to be anything like Florida without serious weather magic.


    Maybe more like Japan, which is fairly far north (though not as far as the Baklunish states) but gets its climate moderated by a warm current (the Kuroshio). I'd expect the warm Drawmij current bumps up against a cold Hyperborean current around 48 to 50 degrees n. which would account for the bleak and cold weather that I seem to be seeing along the coast of the Burneal and western steppes of the Tiger Nomads. This would created something like the North Pacific Current, heading west, which would considerably warm up the eastern islands.

    One question to stoke the fires. The LGG says the Drawmij is circumpolar, but all the maps show land extending north from Gigantea into Hyperborea. Maybe I've missed the debate on this before but is the assumption that the "land" breaking up the Drawmij is pack ice or that the LGG doesn't really mean circumpolar in the strictest sense.
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    Thu May 08, 2008 10:44 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    Quote:
    Sea of Dust = Death Valley


    I would say the Sea of Dust is like Death Valley on steroids.

    I always felt that Keoland (along the coast) and the Yeomanry would have a climate similar to the Carolinas. NW Keoland would be like Virginia.

    The Hold of the Sea Princes would be like Louisiana/Florida.

    The NW corner is warmer than the NE corner of the map, so I would say the Tusmit/Zief/Paynim is like Northern Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas only with more moisture due to the Drawmidj (This area would be colder if not for the Drawmidj).

    Ekbir is probably like Washington State and Oregon.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood is probably similar to Southern Florida and Cuba.

    Ket could be like Pennsylvania.
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    Thu May 08, 2008 1:03 pm  

    [quote="smillan_31Maybe more like Japan, which is fairly far north (though not as far as the Baklunish states) but gets its climate moderated by a warm current (the Kuroshio). I'd expect the warm Drawmij current bumps up against a cold Hyperborean current around 48 to 50 degrees n. which would account for the bleak and cold weather that I seem to be seeing along the coast of the Burneal and western steppes of the Tiger Nomads. This would created something like the North Pacific Current, heading west, which would considerably warm up the eastern islands."
    /quote]

    OK, I'd go with that.
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    Thu May 08, 2008 1:29 pm  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    . Maybe I've missed the debate on this before but is the assumption that the "land" breaking up the Drawmij is pack ice or that the LGG doesn't really mean circumpolar in the strictest sense.


    The Chainmail map shows an island chain where the Dragon Annual map shows an isthmus, so I assume it's pack ice.

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    Thu May 08, 2008 3:30 pm  

    IIRC; the tiger nomad coast has fairly frequent dense fog banks; I am no weather whiz but I was wondering how this plays into the weather scenario.
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    Sat May 10, 2008 7:58 pm  

    It's all condensation but fog can result from a number of different factors, one being warm and cold currents bumping up against each other. According to Wikipedia that's, along with the shallowness of the water, is why the Grand Banks off Newfoundland is the foggiest place in the world.
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    Mon May 12, 2008 1:21 am  

    I remember the cold current in the Dramij thing too. If you like, the fog on the coast can be caused by a cold polar current moving down to strike a warm current (the one which keeps the Dramij temperate) moving NE from the Sea of Hy(per)boria (where it can be caused by elemental gates, or whatever you fancy). The real world parallel I would pick would either be the Pacific off Japan as suggested or the coast of South America where the cold Malvinas current meets warmer waters.

    Weather behaves the way you want it to facilitate your adventures, so you can take or leave any of the weather gen systems out there.

    I think it's a good idea to base regional weather on real-world equivalents, as it's easier for people to get a handle on what's going on. Of course, gamers in Europe will have a slightly different conception to the various N. American examples on this thread.

    There should still be room for 'strangeness' at the edges. Your sea of Dust could be like Death Valley on steroids, or the Taklamakan desert basin in Asia - but perhaps a bit more fantastical (there's discussions elsewhere about using the DS Silt Sea as inspiration, along with the EGG novels).

    You have to allow some diversion from the real-world though, because the way the Oerth is set up the weather patterns should be quite different e.g. the southern half of the Flanaess is at a sub-tropical or tropical latitude (the tropics are further from the equator on Oerth) yet clearly only the southern coastal regions around the Azure Sea/Aerdy Sea are properly tropical. It's already been pointed out in this thread that the Dramij behaves oddly (for whatever magical reasons you want to have).

    I vaguely recall a discussion which stated that one of the reasons the Flanaess had the weather the way it does was to extend the summer campaigning season for battles - though this might have been only for Gary/Rob's original campaign and not the published version.

    There will be the second part of a Canonfire article here which discusses a lot of this weather stuff, it was mostly written months ago but is archived on a very dead computer! But I should be able to excavate it in the next couple of weeks to submit it.
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    Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:49 am  

    Here is an example of a historical weather. Unfortunately the amount of time the recording go back vary from city to city. On this site (www.wunderground.com) I was able to get iconic representations for each day but now I am not.

    http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=KCOARVAD22&graphspan=week&month=6&day=3&year=2008


    What are your thoughts about:
      The Uleks?
      Celene?
      Kron Hills?



    I compiled what has been already posted on the list, with no credit given to the particular people.

    Furyondy = Ohio
    Iuz = Quebec
    Greyhawk/Dyvers = Washington DC
    the Barrens = Dakotas
    Pomarj = South Carolina
    Southern Keoland = Louisiana
    Perrenland = Idaho
    Ekbir/Zief = Florida -OR- <N. California or Washington State.>
    Paynims = Great Plains
    Sea of Dust = Death Valley
    South Province = East Texas
    Nyrond = Missouri
    Thillonrian = Alaska
    Ratik = Maine
    North Province = New England
    Great Kingdom = Alabama
    Lordship of the Isles = Puerto Rico

    Horned Society=Minnesota
    Bandit Kingdoms=Minnesota

    Sea of Dust=Death Valley on steroids.

    Keoland (along the coast)= Carolinas
    NW Keoland =Virginia.
    Yeomanry=Carolinas.

    The Hold of the Sea Princes=Louisiana/Florida.

    Tusmit=Northern Texas
    Zief=N/Oklahoma
    Paynim=Kansas only with more moisture

    Ekbir=Washington State
    The Scarlet Brotherhood=Cuba.
    Ket=Pennsylvania.


    Greyhawk City= Chicago
    Dyvers =Milwakee
      [list=]
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