89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 8:45 AM
An Analysis and Evaluation of the Agreement between Severe Geostationary Satellite and National Weather Service (NWS) Radar Signatures during the Fall of 2008
Room 122BC (Phoenix Convention Center)
Phil Zuzolo, The Boeing Company, Springfield, VA; and B. Zuzolo
Poster PDF (1.8 MB)
This paper provides an analysis and evaluation of severe weather signatures on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and NWS radar graphical products publicly available on the internet. The severe events examined are from the period September through November of 2008. These events were chosen randomly to illustrate the comparison and agreement between signatures on GOES satellite and NWS radar products. Discussions of these events and the associated satellite and radar products include illustrated examples and specific graphical highlights of what constitutes a severe signature.

The GOES severe signatures emphasized in this paper include visible satellite overshooting tops and enhanced-V infrared satellite signatures. Severe weather signatures using NWS radar include high-reflectivity returns, bow echos, hook echos, and Doppler velocity signatures. Many of these signatures are easily identifiable on the publicly available graphics made available on the internet by the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) and the NWS. Internet addresses for each of the products are provided in the paper's reference section.

An primary goal is an evaluation of a particular severe event and the determination of the agreement between the identification of severe signatures as determined by NWS radar and those depicted by GOES satellite data via visual examination or derived data products. This paper will present a qualitative comparison of severe weather events as identified by both GOES satellite data and NWS radar signatures. Primary evaluation methodology is a graphical comparison between the location of severe signatures on both the satellite and radar images. Spatial extent, specific characteristics, and temporal duration are also facets of the evaluation used in this study.

An additional goal of this paper is to emphasize the public availability of product showing locations where severe weather has a high potential of occurrence or where it is already in progress. A direct impact of the accessibility to, and familiarity with, these products is they may increase awareness of severe weather threats. A person or family with internet access in their home can view these products during periods when severe weather is nearby and have a general awareness of where severe weather is occurring. These products, combined with information available from television or radio broadcasts, may enable the public to develop a better understanding of imminently developing severe weather. Ultimately this may result in lives saved.

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