Monitor wind conditions for oil leasing sites

Set up a project and load oil lease locations

You'll first set up a new project in ArcGIS Pro, and load data into it.

  1. Go to the item page for the lesson data and click Download.

    Depending on your web browser, you may have been prompted to choose the file's location before you began the download. Most browsers download to your computer's Downloads folder by default.

  2. Unzip the file to a location on your computer where you can easily retrieve it.
  3. Double-click the unzipped HRRR folder to open it.

    The folder contains 15 files of weather data in the GRIB format. You'll learn more about the GRIB format later in the lesson.

    GRIB files

  4. Start ArcGIS Pro. If necessary, sign in with a licensed ArcGIS account.

    If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  5. Under New, click Map.

    Choose the blank map template.

    ArcGIS Pro uses projects to organize maps and data. Starting your project with the Map template sets up the project with several files, including a blank map and geodatabase.

  6. In the Create a New Project window, name the project Cook Inlet Wind Conditions and click OK.

    Save the new ArcGIS Pro project.

    Unless otherwise specified, new ArcGIS Pro projects are saved in a new folder in your Projects folder. The project opens to a blank map.

    First, you’ll add data representing the locations of oil and gas lease sites in the United States. That dataset is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, and it is available in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, an online repository of authoritative geospatial data.

  7. On the ribbon, click the View tab, and in the Windows group, click Catalog Pane.

    Catalog Pane

  8. In the Catalog pane, click the Portal tab and choose Living Atlas.

    Living Atlas

  9. Search for the USA Active Oil and Gas Lease Blocks layer. Right-click the result and choose Add To Current Map.

    Add to the current map.

    The USA Active Oil and Gas Lease Blocks layer draws on the map. The layer’s default extent is the Gulf of Mexico, where there is a cluster of active leases off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. The oil leases you will monitor are in Alaska, in the Cook Inlet. Next, you will use the Locate tool to locate the Cook Inlet.

  10. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Inquiry group, click Locate.

    Locate button in the Inquiry group

    The Locate pane appears.

  11. In the Locate pane, type Cook Inlet and press Enter.

    The map zooms to Alaska and drops a lettered point over the inlet.

  12. Zoom in until you can see the lease blocks near Homer, Alaska.

    Cook Inlet, Alaska

    These lease blocks are your area of interest for analyzing wind speeds.

  13. Close the Locate pane.

    To navigate back to this view, you’ll create a bookmark.

  14. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Bookmarks, and choose New Bookmark.

    Create a new bookmark.

  15. In the Create Bookmark window, type Cook Inlet, and click OK.

    The bookmark is saved and is accessible from the Bookmarks button.

  16. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save.

    Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar

Now that you have a map of your area of interest, you’ll add weather data from the multidimensional GRIB files you downloaded.

Extract data from a multidimensional weather dataset

In the domain of geospatial analysis, while single-variable or 2D data can be packaged in shapefiles or GeoTIFF files, more complex multidimensional data requires more complex data structures. This is the case for weather datasets, which usually contain data for an entire geographic area, multiple variables, and multiple points in time. The most common data structures in meteorology and climatology are GRIB, netCDF, and HDF, which ArcGIS Pro can read when formatted to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) or Climate and Forecast (CF) standards.

This GRIB files you downloaded at the beginning of the lesson come from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) dataset. Provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), HRRR is a weather model for the entire United States that is refreshed every hour. It contains many variables that provide information on temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and other meteorological data. The subset you downloaded contains data for the entire region of Alaska, on December 24, 2019, for every hour between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. UTC.

Because HRRR data contains so much information, it is difficult to look at all of it at the same time. Instead, you'll extract specific elements of interest to you to display them on the map.

First, you would like to explore temperatures for the Cook Inlet location at a single point in time. To do that, you'll extract data from the GRIB dataset and add it as a single raster to the map. Each cell of the raster will contain a single temperature value.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Layer group, click the Add Data drop-down button and choose Multidimensional Raster Layer.

    Multidimensional Raster Layer

  2. For Input File, Mosaic Dataset or Image Service, click the Import Variables button.

    Import Variables button

  3. In the Import variables from NetCDF, GRIB, or HDF files window, browse to the HRRR folder you downloaded; choose the last grib2 file, hrrr.t06z.wrfsfcf14.ak.grib2; and click OK.

    This file contains the data for the last one-hour period: December 24, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. UTC.

    A list of all the meteorological variables contained in that dataset is added to the Select Variables table. The variables are alphabetized and accompanied by a short description. The temperature variable, TMP@HTGL, is of interest to you.

  4. For Select Variables, check the TMP@HTGL box and click OK.

    Check the box for TMP@HTGL.

    The temperature data draws on the map. You'll rename the layer to a more intuitive name.

  5. In the Contents pane, click the hrrr.t06z.wrfsfcf14.ak.grib2_TMP@HTGL layer to select it, and click it one more time. Rename it to Temperature.
  6. Click a few points close to the drilling sites to view information about them in the pop-up window.

    Pop-up for Temperature layer

    At 8:00 p.m. UTC on December 24, 2019, this area experienced temperatures around 271 Kelvin, or roughly -2 Celsius.

  7. Close the pop-up window.

    Now you’ll look at the variation in wind gust data on December 24, 2019, for the Cook Inlet area. Wind gusts are bursts of wind speed increases. High wind speeds could damage your oil drilling installations, so they need to be monitored.

    You’ll extract wind gust data from the GRIB files for every hour and put it in a multidimensional mosaic dataset to add it to your map. A mosaic is a way of organizing multiple dimensions of data (time, space, variable, band, and so on) into a single composite in your geodatabase.

    First, you'll create an empty mosaic dataset to use as a container for your data.

  8. In the Contents pane, uncheck the Temperature raster to turn it off.

    Temperature raster turned off

  9. On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab. In the Geoprocessing group, click Tools.

    Geoprocessing tools

  10. In the Geoprocessing pane that appears, search for and select Create Mosaic Dataset.

    Create Mosaic Dataset tool

  11. On the Create Mosaic Dataset tool, enter the following parameters:
    • For Output Location, click Browse. In the window that appears, click Databases, choose Cook Inlet Wind Conditions.gdb, and click OK.
    • For Mosaic Dataset Name, type WindGust.
    • For Coordinate System, choose Current Map [Map].

    Create Mosaic Dataset tool parameters

  12. Click Run.

    Next, you'll add the wind gust data to this mosaic container.

  13. In the Geoprocessing pane, click the back arrow.

    Back arrow on Geoprocessing pane

  14. Search for and select Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset.
  15. In the Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset tool, choose the following parameters:
    • For Mosaic Dataset, choose WindGust.
    • For Raster Type, choose GRIB.
    • For Input Data, choose Folder in the drop-down list. Click Browse and browse to the HRRR lesson data folder. Select it and click OK.

    The folder is added to the data box. Once the folder is chosen, you can specify the variable to pull from the multidimensional GRIB dataset.

  16. Next to Raster Type, click the Properties button.

    Properties button

    The Raster Type Properties window appears with information about the GRIB files in the folder.

  17. Click the Variables tab and check the box for GUST@SFC, which represents wind speed. Click OK.

    Variables window with GUST@SFC highlighted

    The Raster Type field updates to include a file path with the GUST@SFC variable.

  18. Expand Raster  Processing and check Calculate Statistics.

    Check Calculate Statistics.

  19. Click Run.

    The data is added to the mosaic and draws on the map.

    Mosaic map

    Because you chose the entire HRRR folder (and not a specific GRIB file, as you had done for the Temperature layer), the data for all 15 hours present in the HRRR folder has been added to the mosaic.

Next, you'll view it as an animation over time.

Animate and symbolize a multidimensional wind gust layer

The WindGust mosaic layer contains wind speed data for the region of Alaska for 15 hours on December 24, 2019. In this section, you'll view this data as an animation, and choose an appropriate symbolization. First, you'll check the information about the mosaic content.

  1. In the Contents pane, expand the HRRR mosaic layer and double-click Image.

    Image in the Contents pane

    The Layer Properties window appears. This window contains information about the mosaicked image.

  2. In the Layer Properties window, click the Source tab and expand Multidimensional Info. For Variables, expand gust@sfc (StdTime = 15) and StdTime.

    Layer properties for the multidimensional raster

    The description of the dataset is provided, including unit of measure (Unit), time interval (Interval), and time range (Extent). The Count of 15 means that there are 15 layers (or slices) of data within the mosaic, one for each hour.

  3. Close the Layer Properties window.

    Next, you'll look at the wind gust data as a time animation.

  4. On the map, zoom out with the mouse scroll wheel until you can see the dataset covering all of Alaska.

    Dataset extent covering Alaska


    The complete dataset extent covers more than Alaska. Most strikingly, it goes beyond the border of the map on the left side, and also appears on the right side of the map, over eastern Siberia. However, in this exercise, you will focus only on Alaska.

    Because some of the data in your map can be displayed over time, a time slider has been added at the top of the map. On the ribbon, a Time tab has also appeared. You'll set up the time slider to properly display the WindGust multidimensional raster over time.

  5. If necessary, in the Contents pane, under WindGust, click Image to select it.
  6. At the top of the map, hover over the time slider to activate it.

    Click Time disabled to enable time on the time slider.

  7. On the left side of the time slider, click Time disabled to change it to Time enabled.

    Time enabled

    You can see that currently the time slider starts on 10/7/2011 and ends on 12/24/2019. This is much too wide, since your dataset covers only 15 hours on December 24, 2019. You need to adjust the timeline parameters.

  8. On the right side of the time slider, click Full time extent to get the start and end dates that match the WindGust multidimensional raster layer.

    Click Full time extent.

    The time slider start and end dates are now the same as your data.

    Start and end dates

    However, the time span—in other words, how much time will be shown for each time slider step—is still incorrect, as it spans the entire time slider. It should be set to 1 hour instead, and you’ll fix this on the Time tab.

  9. On the ribbon, on the Time tab, in the Current Time group, for Span, enter 1, and choose Hours in the drop-down list.

    Set the time span.

    The time slider is now set up and can be used to view the WindGust raster slices over time.

  10. On the time slider, click Play.

    Click Play on the time slider.

    You see the map animate and change over the course of the 15 hours that the data covers. The current rainbow color ramp can be misleading, so you’ll choose a continuous ramp to better symbolize areas with stronger gusts.

  11. In the Contents pane, expand the Image layer, if necessary, and right-click the color ramp.

    Expand the color ramp.

  12. Expand the drop-down list, click Show names, and choose the Purple-Blue (Continuous) color ramp.

    Choose the Purple-Blue Continuous color ramp from the options.

  13. Right-click the color ramp again, and click Reverse color scheme to display the strongest wind gusts in dark blue.

    Reverse color scheme

    The map updates to show higher wind gusts in dark blue, while the low gusts are shown in shades of light purple.

    Color ramp showing higher wind gusts in dark blue

  14. On the time slider, click Play again to see the animation with the finalized symbolization.
  15. Save the map.

Use a temporal profile chart to visualize multidimensional data 

You'll now use a temporal profile chart to visualize the wind gust activity at specific oil drilling sites. A temporal profile chart serves as a basic analysis tool for multidimensional data representing a time series. It is a type of chart that provides in-depth visualization and analysis of your multidimensional raster data.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the Image layer (in the WindGust mosaic) and point to  Create Chart. Choose Temporal Profile.

    Temporal Profile chart

    The Chart Properties pane appears, and a blank chart named Chart of Image is added to the project. The chart is also listed in the Contents pane under the WindGust mosaic layer.

    Chart of Image in the Contents pane

    To populate the chart, you’ll define your area of interest as the oil lease blocks in the Cook Inlet.

  2. If necessary, shrink the space occupied by the chart window to ensure that the map still has a reasonable size.

    Adjust chart window height as needed.

  3. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks and choose your Cook Inlet bookmark.

    The map zooms back to the extent you saved.

  4. Zoom in until you can see the lease blocks clearly.
  5. In the Chart Properties pane, for Define an area of interest, click the Point tool.

    Define an area of interest group with point tool highlighted.

  6. On the map, click the active lease site that is farthest southeast to add a point.

    Chart showing gust strength over the raster time frame


    The symbology color of the layer is randomly generated and may differ from the example image, but it does not impact the results of the analysis.

    The chart pane updates to show the change in wind gust at that precise point during the 15 hours represented by your data. At this lease site, Y02444, gusts reached over 10 meters per second. The point feature is also added to the Chart Properties pane, in the table under Define an area of interest.

  7. On the chart, hover over the highest point to see the time frame and exact value.

    Highest point in chart

    Gusts at this point reached 10.92 meters per second, or roughly 21 knots.


    The value you see may be slightly different, based on the exact location you chose on the map.

  8. In the Chart Properties pane, for Define an area of interest, click the Point tool again.
  9. On the map, click the lease site that is farthest north to add a second point.

    Northernmost lease block

    The chart updates to show data for both points. The northernmost lease, Y02434, experienced milder gusts that topped at just over 8 meters per second. To differentiate these trends, you’ll change the color of the second point and make some enhancements to the chart symbolization.

  10. In the Chart Properties pane, under Define an area of interest, in the Symbol column, click the point symbol for Location 1 and choose a bright red color.

    Red color

  11. If necessary, change the symbol for Location 0 to a bright blue color.
  12. In the Symbol column, change the size of both points to 7.

    Symbol size changed to 7

    The point size on the chart is now larger and the color helps the points much easier to see. You'll now rename the two points.

  13. In the Define an area of interest table, for Label, click Location 0 and rename it Lease Y02444. For Location 1, rename it  Lease Y02434.

    Labels updated

    The labels on the chart are updated.

    Chart showing WindGust for two Lease locations.


    There are many other options for temporal profile charts. For example, you can aggregate the hourly data to daily, monthly, and yearly time intervals and visualize the trends at different time scales. For more about customization and modifications that you can make to your chart, see Temporal profile chart.

    Next, you'll export the chart to the PNG format.

  14. On the chart ribbon, click Export and choose Export As Graphic.

    Export As Graphic

  15. Enter GustWind, select the .png file type, and click Save.

    Export window

  16. Save the project.

You now have a chart showing the gust speed at the location of your two drilling platforms. The highest wind gusts that these lease sites experienced over this period were 10.92 meters per second, or 21 knots. These are fairly mild gusts, and probably don’t require further checks for damage.

Using ArcGIS Pro, you can visualize many file formats and multiple variables for accurate modeling at precise locations.

You can find more lessons such as this on the Introduction to Imagery and Remote Sensing page.