Environmental Earth Sciences

, 77:804 | Cite as

3D modelling strategy for weather radar data analysis

  • Mingyue Lu
  • Min Chen
  • Xinhao Wang
  • Manzhu Yu
  • Yongyao Jiang
  • Chaowei Yang
Original Article


Weather radar data, which have obvious spatial characteristics, represent an important and essential data source for weather identification and prediction, and the multi-dimensional visualization and analysis of such data in a three-dimensional (3D) environment are important strategies for meteorological assessments of potentially disastrous weather. The previous studies have generally used regular 3D raster grids as a basic structure to represent radar data and reconstruct convective clouds. However, conducting weather radar data analyses based on regular 3D raster grids is time-consuming and inefficient, because such analyses involve considerable amounts of tedious data interpolation, and they cannot be used to address real-time situations or provide rapid-response solutions. Therefore, a new 3D modelling strategy that can be used to efficiently represent and analyse radar data is proposed in this article. According to the mode by which the radar data are obtained, the proposed 3D modelling strategy organizes the radar data using logical objects entitled radar-point, radar-line, radar-sector, and radar-cluster objects. In these logical objects, the radar point is the basic object that carries the real radar data unit detected from the radar scan, and the radar-line, radar-sector, and radar-cluster objects organize the radar-point collection in different spatial levels that are consistent with the intrinsic spatial structure of the radar scan. Radar points can be regarded as spatial points, and their spatial structure can support logical objects; thus, the radar points can be flexibly connected to construct continuous surface data with quads and volume data with hexahedron cells without additional tedious data interpolation. This model can be used to conduct corresponding operations, such as extracting an isosurface with the marching cube method and a radar profile with a designed sectioning algorithm to represent the outer and inner structure of a convective cloud. Finally, a case study is provided to verify that the proposed 3D modelling strategy has a better performance in radar data analysis and can intuitively and effectively represent the 3D structure of convective clouds.


Weather radar data 3D modelling strategy Convective cloud Analysis 



We appreciate the detailed suggestions and comments from the secretariat and the anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the NSF of China under Grant number 41871285, 41622108, and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions under Grant number 164320H116.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Ministry of EducationNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Geography and GeoInformation ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  4. 4.School of Geography ScienceNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  5. 5.Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and ApplicationNanjingChina

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