Weatherscapes: Nowcasting Heat Transfer and Water Continuity


J. A. Amador Herrera, T. Hädrich, W. Pałubicki, D. T. Banuti, S. Pirk, and D. L. Michels.
Weatherscapes: Nowcasting Heat Transfer and Water Continuity.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2021), Vol. 40, No. 6, Article 204.


Due to the complex interplay of various meteorological phenomena, simulating weather is a challenging and open research problem. In this contribution, we propose a novel physics-based model that enables simulating weather at interactive rates. By considering atmosphere and pedosphere we can define the hydrologic cycle – and consequently weather – in unprecedented detail. Specifically, our model captures different warm and cold clouds, such as mammatus, hole-punch, multi-layer, and cumulonimbus clouds as well as their dynamic transitions. We also model different precipitation types, such as rain, snow, and graupel by introducing a comprehensive microphysics scheme. The Wegener-Bergeron-Findeisen process is incorporated into our Kessler-type microphysics formulation covering ice crystal growth occurring in mixed-phase clouds. Moreover, we model the water run-off from the ground surface, the infiltration into the soil, and its subsequent evaporation back to the atmosphere. We account for daily temperature changes, as well as heat transfer between pedosphere and atmosphere leading to a complex feedback loop. Our framework enables us to interactively explore various complex weather phenomena. Our results are assessed visually and validated by simulating weatherscapes for various setups covering different precipitation events and environments, by showcasing the hydrologic cycle, and by reproducing common effects such as Foehn winds. We also provide quantitative evaluations creating high-precipitation cumulonimbus clouds by prescribing atmospheric conditions based on infrared satellite observations. With our model we can generate dynamic 3D scenes of weatherscapes with high visual fidelity and even nowcast real weather conditions as simulations by streaming weather data into our framework.


The video published as supplemental material can be found hereafter.