Google Research

Weatherscapes: Nowcasting Heat Transfer and Water Continuity

  • Jorge Amador Herrera
  • Torsten Hädrich
  • Daniel Banuti
  • Wojciech Pałubicki
  • Sören Pirk
  • Dominik L. Michels
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia) (2021)


Due to the complex interplay of various meteorological phenomena, simulating weather is a challenging and open research problem. In this paper, we propose a novel physically-accurate model that enables simulating weather. By considering atmosphere and pedosphere we can define the hydrologic cycle – and consequently weather – in unprecedented detail. Specifically, we distinguish 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 species, such as rain, snow and graupel by introducing a novel microphysics scheme. 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 this complex feedback loop to effectively explore various weather phenomena. With our framework we can generate dynamic 3D scenes of weatherscapes with high visual fidelity and even nowcast real weather conditions as simulation.

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