WRF with Google Earth


img_01The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a mesoscale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both forecasting and atmospheric research needs. In order to produce high-resolution forecasts for North Carolina, RENCI ran WRF at 12km and 4km (or 1.3km for special cases) resolution twice a day to produce a 36 hour forecast. With this resolution, WRF has nine times the resolution of National Weather Service forecasts, making it possible to zero in on storm effects in a 4-kilometer radius. WRF can also be used in ensemble forecasting and running past tropical storm events at high resolution.

To make the daily WRF output run on RENCI’s BlueGene/L supercomputer more accessible, RENCI coupled the simulation to high-speed networks and piped the output to GoogleEarth. This visualization represents one-hour timesteps that show temp (blue-to-red), pres (contour lines), wind direction (vectors) and accumulated precipitation (contours).

Project Team

  • Jason Coposky
  • Hong Yi


Dr. Gary Lackman