Vaisala Xweather Energy

Vaisala Energy Support

Situational Awareness


What is the Situational Awareness tool?

The Xweather Renewable Energy Situational Awareness tool is a map based, graphical user interface that allows our renewable energy forecasting customers to explore weather forecasts covering the main parameters of interest for renewable energy projects. If a picture is worth a thousand words then what’s an animated weather map worth?

The parameters shown in the tool include the intensity of the wind speed and direction (particles and barbs) at modern turbine hub height (100 meters above the ground) as well as the intensity of the sun as expressed as Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) at ground level. Other weather parameters provided include: precipitation rate and type, cloud coverage, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, and snow depth on the ground. A full listing of weather parameters is available in the menu bar on the left hand side of the tool.

The Renewable Energy Situational Awareness Tool is available as a part of your subscription to Xweather renewable energy forecasts, and the tool displays the location of the wind and solar projects to which you are currently subscribed. For our regional renewable energy forecasting customers, the tool provides estimated power forecasts with graphical representation of estimated power generation for quick visualization of project power over time.

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Is there any additional subscription needed to access Situational Awareness tool?

It is included as part of standard renewable energy forecasting (site specific and regional). If you are a subscriber to Vaisala/Xweather renewable energy forecasts then you have access to this tool in the main menu at the very top of your browser window.

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What data sets are included?

ECMWF HRES (global coverage and 9 km resolution). For more information please see: Medium-range forecasts

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What additional information is provided?

  • Ability to select 2 days prior initialization time of forecast model
  • Time slider with date/time information
  • When hovered over the weather map, a tooltip that shows numeric values of active weather layers.
  • Regional renewable energy (wind/solar) project locations (requires valid subscription)
  • When hovered over a renewable energy project, a tooltip that shows:
    • Project Name
    • Current time
    • Project nameplate capacity
    • Estimated generation at time closest to time selected on slider
    • Selected weather information

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What different variables can I see in the map view?

  • Regional and Site Specific Projects (with subscription)
  • 100m Wind (above ground level)
  • 100m Wind Particles that animate and follow the flow of the wind
  • 100m Wind Barbs. Information about wind barbs
  • Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) Contours
  • GHI (at 2m above the ground)
  • Air temperature (at 2m above the ground)
  • Cloud Cover
  • Precipitation
  • Precipitation type (rain, mixed ice, snow, thunderstorm, freezing rain, wet snow)
  • Snow Depth (as liquid water equivalent)

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Where is the legend for atmospheric pressure?

There isn’t one as user testing revealed that any color (or monochrome) gradients of pressure were too visually complex with any other colorized map as an underlay. Therefore, we show atmospheric pressure with a 4 millibar spacing between contours of equal pressure - all in the same thickness of solid black lines. Areas of low pressure are quickly revealed as a tightening cluster of contour lines around a central point. To see what the pressure is at any location please use the tooltip (hover your cursor over the weather map).

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How do I use the time slider tool?

The time slider tool displays the date/time of the information displayed on the map. This is controlled via a “play” and “pause” button. You can also drag and choose the time frame you’d like to see by using your mouse inside the time slider box.

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Looks like I can use the keyboard to control the animation—can you give me the list of active keys?

  • left/right arrow keys: step backward/forward by one hour (averaged values are default to step by one hour centered on the half hour)
  • shift + left/right arrow keys: step backward/forward by 10 minutes
  • space bar: toggle play/pause for time slider

These keyboard commands make the tool very powerful—you can now easily see how values at any location change over time. Just hover the cursor anywhere you want to see the values and use the keyboard to step forward or backward in time. Have fun!

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What is the default time zone? Can I change the time zone?

The default time zone is UTC (London), the global meteorological reference time zone. Time zone selection will be available in a future release of this tool.

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Can I look back in time at older forecasts in this tool?

Yes, you can see forecasts with initialization times up to 60 hours in the past. Just choose a different “initialization time” from the drop-down menu, all of which are in UTC.

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How is this tool evolving? What is the future of this tool?

We’re working to integrate more Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) grids to include GFS and HRRR.

The tool will evolve further to integrate with our regional multi forecasting tool to take users from map view to detailed time series and forecasting views.

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Who can I reach out to with questions or suggestions for improvement on this tool?

We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please reach out to us at

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The tool doesn’t seem to be working well on my computer. Any suggestions?

The Xweather Situational Awareness Tool is a powerful weather forecast exploration tool built on the AerisWeather MapsGL SDK. The tool uses your local computer resources to render (draw and animate) the weather data that is dynamically served upon request. As a result, the performance of the tool will depend on the speed of your internet connection, the complexity of the rendering request (i.e. do you have all the weather layers turned on) and the CPU and GPU performance and memory of your local computer. A few helpful suggestions:

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