Satellite Data Applications for Nowcasting of Convective Initiation
A particularly challenging problem for convective weather forecasting is the ability to forecast when and where convection will first form. Imager data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), with a spatial resolution of 1 to 8 km depending on spectral band, can provide invaluable information about convection in its early stages. Under the NASA Advanced Satellite Aviation weather Products (ASAP) program, the SATellite Convection Analysis and Tracking (SATCAST) system has been developed by researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) to identify cloud pixels that are favored for convective initiation. The NASA ASAP and NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) programs have funded a collaboration among MIT Lincoln Laboratory, UAH, and CIMSS to transfer SATCAST to ASPA and to test the SATCAST system in real-time. This work will discuss the results of an effort to use SATCAST in ASPA to improve forecasts of convective initiation.