Four-Dimensional Weather (4DWX) System


To improve meteorological support through the development and application of new technologies.


The Four-Dimensional Weather (4DWX) System is the product of twelve years of research and development sponsored largely by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), and is accredited for operational use at seven test ranges. Through the use of new capabilities in high-resolution mesoscale modeling, short-term thunderstorm prediction, multi-dimensional integrated displays, and fine-scale climatological analysis tools, the ranges now provide test customers with more accurate test go/no-go guidance.

In its original conception, 4DWX was targeted solely for providing advanced capabilities to the ATEC range meteorology branches, but NCAR has since adapted the system and created derivative technologies for use by other organizations:

  • Analysis of potential exposure of U.S. troops to nerve agents during the first Gulf War;
  • Consequence assessment for counter proliferation mission planning in Afghanistan and Iraq;
  • Anti-terrorism support for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino;
  • Urban-scale modeling in Washington D.C., and OKC;
  • Protection of the Pentagon and surrounding regions; and
  • Support for firefighters in CO and AZ during summer wildfires in 2002.