Improving Lake Effect Snow Nowcasting and Quantitative Precipitation Estimation Using Synergistic Satellite and NEXRAD Products

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Room C302 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Mark S. Kulie, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; and J. M. Feltz, A. Walther, M. Dutter, S. W. Nesbitt, R. Bennartz, and A. K. Heidinger

Lake effect snow (LES) commonly occurs in the Great Lakes region and can be a prolific snowfall and hazardous weather producer, yet the NEXRAD network often does not effectively observe LES since the lowest radar elevation angles can overshoot shallow LES structures. In an effort to mitigate these NEXRAD observational shortcomings for LES events, we utilize synergistic radar and satellite products to improve both LES nowcasting capabilities and remotely sensed snowfall estimates. Methods to extend NEXRAD coverage in regions that are frequently devoid of radar observations are being developed by first collocating NOAA Algorithm Working Group (AWG) satellite-based cloud products and NEXRAD-derived snowfall rates near Great Lakes radar sites to 'calibrate' AWG products for LES events. Empirical relationships between NEXRAD-derived snowfall rate and AWG cloud properties are then developed using this collocated dataset to enable snowfall rate estimates that are generated directly from AWG products, thus providing extended LES observational coverage to augment the NEXRAD network. Preliminary results from a combined satellite-radar dataset of winter 2012-2013 LES events will be discussed, and examples that illustrate the potential utility of this snowfall-related product will be presented. Validation results, and other sources of uncertainty related to the snowfall product, will also be discussed.