178 Short Wavelength Infrared Imaging Impacts on Storm Spotting: A Pilot Study

Thursday, 10 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Matthew Seedorf, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN; and R. Tanamachi
Manuscript (599.4 kB)

In this pilot study, we explore the use of short wavelength infrared (SWIR, 0.9 – 1.6 μm) imagery in observing thunderstorms, and compare the SWIR images of thunderstorm cloud bases to visible-wavelength images. The goal is to determine if the SWIR camera imaging could help improve detection of poorly-visible tornadoes in supercells (i.e., those obscured by haze or darkness). We present a methodology, built on existing storm observation techniques, for safely imaging severe thunderstorm cloud bases using a SWIR camera. We also present preliminary results of an eye-tracking study in which SWIR and visible footage of thunderstorm cloud bases were shown to trained weather spotters. It is our hope that the use of eye-tracking technology will help us more objectively assess whether the trained spotters are better able to detect pretornadic cloud features in the SWIR images.
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