Weather3DeXplorer: Hurricane Ophelia 2017

Click on the images to watch the full size animations. The 3D visualizations have been produced with W3DX visualization system, developed at KNMI.

Animation showing HIRLAM model (11km resolution) output in 3D.
Hurricane still above warmer sea water with (thunderstorm) clouds growing above 40000 feet, at some moment more than 12km - 14km high. Depicted are 3D (iso-)contours of clouds behind the cross-section. In the vertical cross-section we show cloud-moisture content distribution.
Note: HIRLAM is an old generation numerical weather prediction model with many limitations. A lot of atmospheric physics is heavily parameterized (approximated), resulting is not realistically resolving deap convective clouds (high thunderstorm clouds). Our current generation models, like HARMONIE produce much more realistic clouds-heights (upto 16-18km) and much stronger wind-speeds during these severe weather events. This time with hurricane Ophelia HARMONIE computational domain was not covering the area where Ophelia was still at hurricane force. It entered the western edge of HARMONIE compational domain (space) already at a weak, non-hurricane, force.

Satellite images illustrating the course of the hurricane Ophelia 2017-10-14 till 2017-10-16.
The eye of the storm is clearly visible.
Click on the image to watch the animation for the whole time-period.





Animation showing HIRLAM model (11km resolution) output in 3D.
3D (iso-)contour of high wind-speeds (more than 30m/s ~= 110km/h) in RED. Normally these high wind-speeds correspond to the "JET-STREAM" phenomena, typically at 7 upto 11 km altitude.
In case of hurricanes and strong storms the high wind-speeds can be found also on the ground level, following the "eye of the storm". On the ground we show wind-speed of the model at 10m given in [m/s]. The vertical cross-section is used to study interaction of the jet-stream and the surface winds.

Animation showing HIRLAM model (11km resolution) output in 3D.
3D (iso-)contour of high wind-speeds (more than 35m/s ~= 130km/h) in YELLOW. Normally these high wind-speeds correspond to the "JET-STREAM" phenomena, typically at 7 upto 11 km altitude.
In case of hurricanes and strong storms the high wind-speeds can be found also on the ground level, following the "eye of the storm".
Approaching north-east towards Ireland the hurricane Ophelia gets into the colder sea water and looses its energy source and weakens in intensity. Watch the "join event" where this hurrinace gets into the path of the jet-stream and gets from the right side onto the left side of the jet-stream.

Animation showing HIRLAM model (11km resolution) output in 3D.
The vertical cross-section is used to study interaction of the jet-stream and the upper-air strong winds and the surface winds. Still at the open (warm) sea, this hurricane had strong winds close to the surface of more than 40m/s (~= 144km/h).
Note that these are computational weather model winds representating "average" wind-speed on a grid-cell area of 11x11km's. The real winds and wind-gust are typically stronger.

Animation showing HIRLAM model (11km resolution) output in 3D.
The vertical cross-section is showing the join-event of the (weakening) hurricane with the jet-stream just above Ireland. Hirlam model computed strong winds close to the surface of more than 35m/s (~= 130km/h). Note that these are computational weather model winds representating "average" wind-speed on a grid-cell area of 11x11km's. The real winds and wind-gust are typically stronger.




Additional material:

KNMI toelichting orkaan Ophelia
BBC about Hurricane Ophelia