2B.6 Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Long-Range Smoke Transport with NUCAPS Satellite Soundings in Field Campaigns and Operations

Monday, 13 January 2020: 11:30 AM
206B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
N. Smith, Science and Technology Corporation, Columbia, MD; and R. Esmaili, C. D. Barnet, G. J. Frost, S. A. McKeen, M. K. Trainer, and C. Francoeur
Manuscript (1.8 MB)

Handout (44.0 MB)

Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and GOES-R aerosol optical depth (AOD) can be used in monitoring long-range smoke transport during North American fire seasons. However, AOD does not show the regional atmospheric composition or vertical extent of the smoke plumes. Furthermore, AOD values are too low to track the plume once it has dispersed. NUCAPS retrieves atmospheric soundings as profiles of temperature and moisture as well as column amounts of trace gases (CO, O3, CH4, etc.) from the top-of-atmosphere radiance. Observations from NUCAPS detect the vertical extent and atmospheric composition of the plume; additionally, CO is an excellent tracer of the plume when AOD values are low or difficult to retrieve.

Using the direct broadcast network, we show how soundings from both existing and new satellites (NOAA-20, Suomi NPP, and the MetOp series) can be utilized alongside AOD measurements to provide observations of trace gases in near real-time. National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters have access to NUCAPS soundings in AWIPS, which is their data visualization and decision support platform with real-time data feed from a myriad of sources. All other agencies have real-time access to NUCAPS sounding products through a network of direct-broadcast stations across the US (including Alaska and Hawaii). In addition to operations, NUCAPS provided visualizations for the researchers involved in the 2019 FIREX-AQ field campaign. Our focus will be on 2018 and 2019 summertime in the US and Canada that saw many intense fires impacting regional air quality. Our goal is to understand how the design of NUCAPS products can be tailored to better meet the requirements for regional air quality forecasting and monitoring.

Supplementary URL: https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/nucaps/

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner