Tuesday, February 11, 2014

3D Water Vapour Imagery and Atmospheric Conveyor Belts

A meteorologist really needs to be able to understand the 3D flows in the atmosphere from some simple Sherlockian clues. I first dreamt of putting the water vapour (WV) brightness temperature on the vertical axis in the 1980s - it was a night shift for sure. However it was my co-workers at COMET who figured out a way to do this in an operational setting. Three dimensional WV motions are now clearly displayed. The complex circulations that occur as a system develops are now revealed without numerical simulations. I have been artistically hand-waving about these circulations my entire career but now they are on display for everyone to enjoy. This allows meteorologists to become situation-ally aware and to anticipate the weather. Otherwise forecasters become observers. These animations are best enjoyed with a beverage and a bag of popcorn.
By the way, this is just the tip of the research. Imagine panning and zooming these images to look at areas of interest in the real data...

No comments: