87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Advancing short-term satellite-based convective nowcasting into the GOES-R era
Exhibit Hall C (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
John R. Mecikalski, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and W. M. Mackenzie, Jr., K. M. Bedka, and W. F. Feltz
The Satellite Convection Analysis and Tracking (SATCAST) System, developed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a satellite based (GOES) algorithm which monitors the growth of cumulus and determines whether a cloud will precipitate (>35 dBZ radar return) within a 0-1 hour time frame (Mecikalski and Bedka, 2006). The algorithm performs spectral and temporal differencing of the five GOES-12 imager bands, and using a pre-defined threshold for each test to determine probability of precipitation development within a given pixel. Once several of the criteria for the tests have been met, then a pixel is flagged to have a high probability of convective initiation.

The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite from EUMETSAT has 12 spectral channels in the infrared, while the NASA MODIS instrument has 27 infrared channels. Although MSG and MODIS are far from so-called “hyperspectral” in character as compared the new GOES-R imager, they offer a capability that first extends to current GOES ability to monitor convective clouds, and second, provide a glimpse of what GOES-R should offer. Research is under way to understand how these new spectral bands can improve short-term nowcasting of convective initiation (0-1 hour time frame) within the SATCAST system. In preparation for GOES-R, work is currently being performed to determine thresholds for these new spectral bands, and to determine if these spectral bands can indeed provide more relevant information into the SATCAST system.

This presentation will show the potential uses of the additional MSG spectral bands and how they can specifically aide in the development of the SATCAST system algorithm. More specifically, a correlation analysis will be performed to determine if the additional spectral channels statistically provide any additional information that can increase the usefulness of the SATCAST system.

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