Im working on project where I should simulate glider soaring. The goal is to create gliders that will look for regions with hot upwinds using evolution algorithms. That shouldn't be problem.

What I have problem with, is how to simulate the atmosphere with wind and temperature? I've read that meteorological simulators divide space into 3D matrix and compute temperature, pressure and wind speed for every cell.


What would be the simpliest atmosphere model I could use using 3D matrix? Please provide equations and example on how to compute.

wind simulation
Something like this http://hint.fm/wind/ but in 3D would be perfect, but it could be more simpler. I thought about matrix holding temperatures and differences in adjacent cells would give me vector with wind direction and speed but I'm not sure if that would work and if it isn't too easy for my simulation.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess you need mesoscale forecasts? Why are you trying to make your own model? This will take months and years. Some model output can be obtained for free (e.g. GFS). Use that data to feed your glider software. $\endgroup$
    – Metalbeard
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


Take a look at wikipedia article on numerical weather simulation and Atmospheric physics

In general the simulations involve complicated models and need fine-tuning and error compensations.

The idea though is simple. Start with simple models of the weather (see for example Lorenz equations)

Some references:

  1. http://www.slideshare.net/yotings/simulating-weather-numerical-weather-prediction-as-computational-simulation

  2. http://www.meteo.unican.es/en/research/climate_models

  3. http://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c02/e6-03a-04-03.pdf

Ijn general there are no standard models for weather modeling and prediction, some are better approximations or faster or more suitable for a specific application.

Hope this is helpful


If only wind and temperature are needed, one should use the equations of fluid dynamics (e.g Navier-Stokes) and the thermodynamic equations of state for temperature


NASA has created an atmospheric model that should do exactly what you want. It's called EarthGRAM.

It allows you to input a time history of coordinates (latitude, longitude, altitude) and will generate a 3D wind velocity, density, and temperature for each coordinate. The exact values of each output are randomly generated, but with statistical distributions based on measured historical data.

Unfortunately, it's export controlled, so you'll have to be a US citizen or permanent resident to get a copy.


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