Weather 3D eXplorer (W3DX) is a 3D framework for interactive visualization of time-evolving meteorological and other atmospheric data. It has been developed at KNMI for processing and interactive visual analysis of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model data (Hirlam, Harmonie), data observations such as satellite and radar images, and ground-based measurements. The data from various sources can be visualized in a common 3D space using Virtual Reality (3D) displays. This way of looking at the data helps in gaining better understanding of weather situations. The W3DX framework is a valuable tool for NWP model developers, atmospheric researchers, and forecasters when searching for anomalies in the data, validating a model with respect to observations and measurements, and investigating model behavior under certain conditions.
Traditionally we use the system to study (archived) historical severe weather events. In the early warning center of KNMI we give our forecasters the opportunity to explore (operational) NWP model forecast data in 3D on daily basis. Visualization using W3DX can also be very useful for meteo-education. The latest developments focus on WEB-based interfaces to make the 3D meteo-visualization accessible in a 3D Visualization WEB-portal.