Met.3D -- 3D visualization of numerical ensemble weather prediction data

Current, up-to-date information and documentation is available online at

  http://met3d.wavestoweather.de   and   http://met3d.readthedocs.org/

Please refer to these websites for the latest documentation version.

Met.3D is an open-source visualization tool for interactive, three-dimensional
visualization of numerical ensemble weather predictions and similar numerical
atmospheric model datasets. The tool is implemented in C++ and OpenGL-4 and
runs on standard commodity hardware. It has originally been designed for
weather forecasting during atmospheric research field campaigns, however, is
not restricted to this application. Besides being used as a visualization tool,
Met.3D is intended to serve as a framework to implement and evaluate new 3D and
ensemble visualization techniques for the atmospheric sciences.

The Met.3D reference publication has been published in "Geoscientific
Model Development" and is available online:

   Rautenhaus, M., Kern, M., Schäfler, A., and Westermann, R.:
   "Three-dimensional visualization of ensemble weather forecasts -- Part 1:
   The visualization tool Met.3D (version 1.0)", Geosci. Model Dev., 8,
   2329-2353, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-2329-2015, 2015.
   Available at: http://www.geosci-model-dev.net/8/2329/2015/gmd-8-2329-2015.html

Met.3D is developed at the Computer Graphics & Visualization Group, Technische
Universitaet Muenchen, Garching, Germany. We hope you find the tool useful for
your work, too. Please let us know about your experiences.


Met.3D currently runs under Linux (we are working on a Windows version). Its
only "special" requirement is an OpenGL-4 capable graphics card. A standard
consumer (i.e. gaming) model works fine. Met.3D's current features include:

* Interactive 2D horizontal sections in a 3D context, including filled and line
  contours, pseudo-colour plots and wind barbs.
* Interactive 2D vertical sections in a 3D context along arbitrary waypoints,
  including filled and line contours.
* 3D isosurface volume renderer that supports multiple isosurfaces. Isosurfaces
  can be coloured according to an auxiliary variable.
* 3D direction volume rendering.
* Surface shadows and interactive vertical axes to improve spatial perception.
* Navigation for forecast initialisation and valid time and ensemble member.
* Interactive computation of ensemble statistical quantities (mean, standard
  deviation, probabilities, ...) of any ensemble data field.
* 3D trajectory rendering for trajectories computed by the LAGRANTO model
  (Sprenger and Wernli, Geosci. Model Dev., 2015).
* On-the-fly gridding of ensemble trajectories into 3D probability volumes.
* Support for 3D model data that is regular in the horizontal. In the vertical,
  both pressure levels and in particular sigma-hybrid-pressure-levels (ECMWF
  model) are natively supported.
* Data can be read from CF-compliant NetCDF files and from ECMWF GRIB files.
* Interactive visual analysis of probability volumes.
* Multithreaded data pipeline architecture.
* Modular architecture designed to allow the straightforward implementation
  of additional visualization/data processing/data analysis modules.


User guide: An evolving user guide is available online at


In addition to the reference publication, a second paper available online from
Geoscientific Model Development describes the specific application case of
forecasting warm conveyor belt situations with Met.3D:

   Rautenhaus, M., Grams, C. M., Schäfler, A., and Westermann, R.:
   "Three-dimensional visualization of ensemble weather forecasts --Part 2:
   Forecasting warm conveyor belt situations for aircraft-based field campaigns",
   Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2355-2377, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-2355-2015, 2015.
   Available at: http://www.geosci-model-dev.net/8/2355/2015/gmd-8-2355-2015.html

A high-level description of the project can be found in the ECMWF Newsletter:

   Rautenhaus, M., Grams, C. M., Schäfler, A., and Westermann, R.:
   "GPU based interactive 3D visualization of ECMWF ensemble forecasts",
   ECMWF Newsletter, vol. 138 (Winter 2014), pp. 34-38, 2014.
   Available at: http://old.ecmwf.int/publications/newsletters/pdf/138.pdf

Installation and configuration

Installation and configuration notes can be found online in the user
documentation at http://met3d.readthedocs.org/.