CISL Visualization Gallery

Weather Systems in a World without Land or Seasons

Aquaplanet simulations—as their name suggests—are idealized representations of Earth where the planet is covered entirely by water. The absence of continents, while unrealistic, provides a clean laboratory where weather systems can develop, evolve, and dissipate as they would do over Earth’s oceans. This kind of simulation is, therefore, useful for learning about the fundamental processes…

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CCSM Spring Snow Cover

This visualization shows 4-year running means of snow cover over North America from 1853 to 2100. These visualizations were created using the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). Primary sponsors of CCSM are the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. Movies North American Snow Depth Movie file (6MB) Polar Disk…

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Ocean Surface Boundary Layer Turbulence Under Hurricane Irene

Simulated ocean surface boundary layer turbulence under Hurricane Irene (~9:30 UTC, August 28, 2011) entrains cold bottom water that cools the sea surface and weakens the hurricane as it makes landfall on the New Jersey continental shelf.  Large-aspect-ratio coherent structures that modify the evolution of the mean sea-surface temperature are highlighted in a 2 km by 2…

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Coalescing Droplets in Turbulence

Coalescing Droplets

Precipitation in warm clouds can be explained by coalescing water droplets. This coalescence can be accelerated by turbulent vortices within the cloud. In this visualization, we see how this turbulence drives the coalescence of large and small droplets. Movies   Movie File (.mp4, 224MB, 1920×1080) Images Science Credits Melanie Li Sing How (Cornell), Lance Collins…

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HRRR Smoke in the Summer of 2020

HRRR Smoke 2020

  These volume renderings show the simulated dispersal of smoke generated with the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model. This visualization emphasizes the Western wildfires during the last days of August, 2020. Science credit to Ka Yee Wong and Ravan Ahmadov, of NOAA’s Global Systems Laboratory. Movies Movie File (430 KB, MP4) Images   Science…

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Water Vapor Content of the Current and Future Climate of North America

This visualization shows column integrated water vapor content over North America for the period April to June 2011, during which time one of the most destructive and deadliest tornado outbreaks to impact the United States occurred (April 25-28). Side-by-side comparison of the simulations show greater water vapor content in the simulated future climate, which can…

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Visual Comparator

Visual Comparator

Visualizations enable us to detect patterns and trends in complex data sets, that might not be obvious by looking at the raw data alone. The visual exploration process often requires comparisons between multiple visualizations, either from the same dataset (E.g. different variables) or a different one, to identify relationships and compare patterns. The existing tools…

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F5 Tornado in CM1

A simulation of an F5 tornado produced by Cloud Model 1 (CM1). Movies   Quicktime Movie File (1920×1080, 2.57 GB) Images Science and Visualization Credits Leigh Orf, University of Wisconsin Madison. Model CM1. Visualization Software VAPOR

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Planetary Boundary Layer Height

Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) is the lowest part of the atmosphere which is directly influenced by the Earth’s surface. The top of the PBL often acts like a cap to trap air in the layers below thus having a major influence on atmospheric phenomenon like dispersion and concentration of pollutants (air quality), trade winds, cloud…

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Present and Future Climate in a Global Model

This visualization shows a CESM1 model comparison between a present day (1990) and a future (2090) simulation using a business-as-usual or high emissions scenario, called RCP8.5.  Clouds represent six-hourly time steps of total water vapor for one year. Technically speaking, this is the CESM1 model variable, TMQ, defined as the total precipitable water (vertically integrated)…

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