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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 8, issue 7 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2329-2353, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-8-2329-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Methods for assessment of models 31 Jul 2015

Methods for assessment of models | 31 Jul 2015

Three-dimensional visualization of ensemble weather forecasts – Part 1: The visualization tool Met.3D (version 1.0)

M. Rautenhaus1, M. Kern1, A. Schäfler2, and R. Westermann1 M. Rautenhaus et al.
  • 1Computer Graphics & Visualization Group, Technische Universität München, Garching, Germany
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. We present "Met.3D", a new open-source tool for the interactive three-dimensional (3-D) visualization of numerical ensemble weather predictions. The tool has been developed to support weather forecasting during aircraft-based atmospheric field campaigns; however, it is applicable to further forecasting, research and teaching activities. Our work approaches challenging topics related to the visual analysis of numerical atmospheric model output – 3-D visualization, ensemble visualization and how both can be used in a meaningful way suited to weather forecasting. Met.3D builds a bridge from proven 2-D visualization methods commonly used in meteorology to 3-D visualization by combining both visualization types in a 3-D context. We address the issue of spatial perception in the 3-D view and present approaches to using the ensemble to allow the user to assess forecast uncertainty. Interactivity is key to our approach. Met.3D uses modern graphics technology to achieve interactive visualization on standard consumer hardware. The tool supports forecast data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and can operate directly on ECMWF hybrid sigma-pressure level grids. We describe the employed visualization algorithms, and analyse the impact of the ECMWF grid topology on computing 3-D ensemble statistical quantities. Our techniques are demonstrated with examples from the T-NAWDEX-Falcon 2012 (THORPEX – North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment) campaign.

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This article presents "Met.3D", a new open-source tool for the interactive 3D visualization of numerical ensemble weather predictions. Met.3D builds a bridge from proven 2D visualization methods commonly used in meteorology to 3D visualization and implements approaches to using the ensemble to allow the user to assess forecast uncertainty. The article is the first part of a two-paper study discussing how 3D and ensemble visualization can be used in a meaningful way suited to weather forecasting.
This article presents "Met.3D", a new open-source tool for the interactive 3D visualization of...
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