Envision’s Lead Solution Architect, Jonathan Carr, demonstrates VR weather visualization technology.

Our most recent eXtended Reality (XR) development efforts at Envision include experiences that visualize big data on computers, VR headsets, or AR smartphones/tablets. In this case the big data comes from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) in the form of computer weather modeling data. Meteorologists, whether for government, education or news and media applications, are still limited to mostly 2D weather model output. In our opinion 2D weather model data does not convey a proper understanding of atmospheric conditions. Weather model data is first collected from various weather sensors around the world located on the ground, marine buoys, weather balloons and or on radio dropsondes. This information is processed using supercomputers to calculate weather conditions in the future via parameters such as 500mb geopotential heights, cyclonic vorticity, precipitation type and intensity and temperature to name a few. This data is then rendered in 2D—incapable of conveying 4D fluids. The output cannot be viewed as a smooth video and fails to show altitude and vertical depth of specific output parameters.

Envision has developed a solution, powered by WeatherBell Analytics weather model data, that first processes the raw weather supercomputer output (big data) and then renders 3D output over time (4D) in XR. This allows a student of meteorology, a professional weather forecaster, or a weather news reporting agency to convey an instant understanding of complex atmospheric physics in a beautiful and vivid interactive display.