Stormscapes: Simulating cloud dynamics in the now

Torsten Hadrich, Miłosz Makowski, Wojtek Pałubicki, Daniel T. Banuti, Sören Pirk, Dominik L. Michels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The complex interplay of a number of physical and meteorological phenomena makes simulating clouds a challenging and open research problem. We explore a physically accurate model for simulating clouds and the dynamics of their transitions. We propose first-principle formulations for computing buoyancy and air pressure that allow us to simulate the variations of atmospheric density and varying temperature gradients. Our simulation allows us to model various cloud types, such as cumulus, stratus, and stratoscumulus, and their realistic formations caused by changes in the atmosphere. Moreover, we are able to simulate large-scale cloud super cells - clusters of cumulonimbus formations - that are commonly present during thunderstorms. To enable the efficient exploration of these stormscapes, we propose a lightweight set of high-level parameters that allow us to intuitively explore cloud formations and dynamics. Our method allows us to simulate cloud formations of up to about 20 km × 20 km extents at interactive rates. We explore the capabilities of physically accurate and yet interactive cloud simulations by showing numerous examples and by coupling our model with atmosphere measurements of real-time weather services to simulate cloud formations in the now. Finally, we quantitatively assess our model with cloud fraction profiles, a common measure for comparing cloud types.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalACM Transactions on Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 26 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-12-22
Acknowledgements: This work has been supported by KAUST (individual baseline funding). We acknowledge the reviewers’ valuable comments.


Dive into the research topics of 'Stormscapes: Simulating cloud dynamics in the now'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this