Overview of the GOES-R Proving Ground Activities at National Hurricane Center

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Overview of the GOES-R Proving Ground Activities at National Hurricane Center
Heritage Ballroom (Sawgrass Marriott)
John Knaff, NOAA/NESDIS, Fort Collins, CO; and M. DeMaria, D. W. Hillger, D. T. Lindsey, D. A. Molenar, J. L. Beven II, M. J. Brennan, H. D. Cobb III, R. Brummer, A. B. Schumacher, J. Dunion, K. K. Fuell, A. L. Molthan, and C. S. Velden

In both 2010 and 2011 a demonstration of some of the capabilities of the US's next generation geostationary satellite (GOES-R) was conducted at the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Formally known as the GOES-R Proving Ground (PG) project, this demonstration was designed to engage the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast and warning community in pre-operational demonstrations of selected capabilities anticipated from GOES -R. The GOES-R Proving Ground facilitates the testing and validation of new ideas, technologies and products before they become integrated into operational use. One of the primary objectives of these activities is to bridge the gaps between GOES-R research and products and the operational weather community. The proving ground concept is an essential component of GOES-R risk reduction, which will help to ensure that users are ready for the new types of satellite imagery and products that will be available in the upcoming GOES-R era. In this specific case, products demonstrated were those that would potentially benefit NHC's tropical weather and hurricane forecasters in their operational duties when data from GOES-R becomes available in 2015-2016.

The 2011 NHC PG demonstration was a collaborative effort involving several participants. Products were produced at three NOAA-affiliated cooperative institutes including the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT). The products include imagery and forecast products based on existing GOES-R proxies (e.g., Meteosat Second Generation, WWLLN lightning data, GOES, MODIS). All products were made available in real time so that they could be used for operational decisions and training on each product was offered prior to the Hurricane Season. Several of the image products were also made available to NHC in formats readily ingested by NHC's operational image display software (i.e., NMAP2/NAWIPS). The nine products demonstrated along with the providing agencies are listed below:

1. Hurricane Intensity Estimate (HIE), CIMSS, 2. Objective Tropical Overshooting Top (TOT) Detection Algorithm, CIMSS, 3. Saharan Air Layer (SAL) Product, CIMAS and CIMSS, 4. Pseudo Natural Color Imagery, CIMAS and CIMSS, 5. GOES-R Natural Color Imagery, CIRA, 6. Red-Green-Blue (RGB) Air Mass Product, SPoRT, 7. RGB Dust Product, SPoRT, 8. Rapid Intensification Index using lightning information (RII), CIRA 9. Super Rapid Scan Imagery, ALL groups.

Each of these will be discussed and highlighted as part of the poster presentation.

An integral part of the PG activities is the forecaster feedback and evaluation. NHC personnel from both the Hurricane Specialist Branch and the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch provide feedback on the utility products and highlight particular events where a product provided additional/useful/important information. Feedback also can be critical in nature; leading to improvements. In fact, based on 2010 feedback, the method of product distribution was improved for the 2011 PG. This presentation will not only highlight the products, but provide specific examples of situations where the GOES-R products improved or enhanced the forecast process. Critical feedback will also be listed with emphasis on addressing the issues for potential 2012 NHC Proving Ground activities.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and findings contained in this manuscript are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or U.S. government position, policy, or decision.