5th GOES Users' Conference


GOES Winter Precipitation efficiency algorithm

Robert M. Rabin, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. Hanna

Recent studies have shown the importance of snow microphysics for heavy snowfall. Specifically, snow production and accumulation appears to be highly efficient when a maximum in saturated vertical ascent (level of non-divergence) is collocated within a narrow temperature range (centered at -15C). This temperature range is favorable for efficient snow production as a result of the preferential growth of ice crystals by deposition. In addition the dominant crystal type formed in this temperature range is dendrites which have been shown to be conducive for high snow to liquid ratios.

To highlight areas conducive for this highly efficient snowfall a GOES Winter Precipitation Efficiency Algorithm was developed by the lead author. The GOES Winter Precipitation Efficiency Algorithm uses cloud-top temperature from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Imager combined with cloud products derived from radiance information from the GOES Sounder to create an analysis of the height of the pressure level at -15C. Further refinement of the analysis is conducted by including vertical velocity output from the Rapid Update Cycle to highlight areas where the -15C pressure level is collocated with moderate lift (defined in the algorithm as -5b/sec).

Poster Session 1, Fifth GOES Users' Confererence Poster Session
Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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