Wednesday, 17 January 2007
New satellite data tools for precipitation analyses and forecasts
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Satellite-derived atmospheric products from current and next generation polar and geostationary orbiting platforms are forming the basis for new value added tools that are helping improve forecasters' abilities to accurately predict heavy precipitation and flash flooding potential 24 hours in advance. Infrared and microwave sensors aboard respective geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites provide accurate estimates of Total Precipitable Water (TPW) and Rainrate (RR) over data sparse ocean areas, and are being used with low level wind flows for evaluating areas of enhanced moisture transport for flash flood potential. Increasing numbers of satellite sensors available to the meteorologist for use in near real-time precipitation analyses, efforts are being undertaken to blend hydrometeorological fields such as TPW from the various satellite sensors to provide for a more complete and self-contained picture of global moisture. Using satellite derived rain rate estimates from both geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites to produce Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP), can in the future help create an ensemble of TRaPs/ Probabilistic TRaP forecasts based on many different rain rates and forecasts for a tropical cyclone within 24 hours of landfall. This will serve to greatly facilitate the job of the analysts and forecasters who require consolidated information at their fingertips, thereby avoiding the need to engage in the time-consuming process of manually comparing, integrating and synthesizing information from multiple satellite sources. Current operational satellite-derived products, like blended TPW and blended TPW anomalies and ensemble TRaP (e-TRaP) will be reviewed, along with their utility for hydrometeorological analyses in support of flood and flash flood hazards mitigation.