3B.2 Citizen Scientists and Tropical Cyclone Activity

Monday, 7 January 2013: 4:15 PM
Ballroom C (Austin Convention Center)
Kenneth R. Knapp, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and C. C. Hennon, C. J. Schreck III, and S. E. Stevens

NOAA's National Climatic Data Center has produced more than 30 years (1979–2009) of homogeneous Hurricane Satellite (HURSAT) data, which are tropical cyclone (TC) imagery from geostationary satellites. This dataset has the potential to address some of the uncertainties and heterogeneities in the tropical cyclone record. However, it would take nearly 40 years for a trained expert, working nonstop, to apply the Dvorak technique – a technique for estimating TC intensity from infrared imagery – to all 200,000 images. Harnessing the power of thousands of Citizen Scientists, the same task can be completed in a matter of months. This presentation will explain how the Dvorak technique was adapted for Citizen Scientists, and their skill will be evaluated relative to the operational analyses by trained experts.
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