S215 Observing Hail Swaths Using the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Dillon V. Blount, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL; and P. N. Schumacher and K. Gallo

Severe storms with wind-driven hail can cause extensive damage to vegetation and structures. Relying only on storm reports from observers underestimates the spatial extent of the damage. Previous studies have shown that polar-orbiting satellites can detect hail swaths that damage crops by identifying areas where the Normalized Derived Vegetation Index (NDVI) is lower after the storm due to hail damage. The addition of Channel 3 (near-infrared) on the GOES-16 ABI (Advanced Baseline Imager) satellite now permits the calculation of NDVI every 5 minutes for the CONUS, increasing the likelihood of detecting these hail swaths. The Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) grid calculates the Maximum Estimated Size of Hail (MESH) associated with these supercells. Our study includes an assessment of NDVI change within a control and damage area. The control area is defined to be areas with no MESH values. The potential damage area is based upon setting a minimum MESH value. Satellite imagery obtained after the storm show decreases in the NDVI within the damage area. Larger decreases in NDVI correspond to the area of larger MESH values. These initial results suggest that GOES-16 ABI can detect decreases in the vegetation index, often in agreement with the MESH values, and may assist in the validation of warning areas.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner