New perspectives on using multi-instrument hyperspectral sounder information in the analysis of severe local storms

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Elisabeth Weisz, Space Science and Engineering Center/University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and N. Smith and W. L. Smith Sr.

In this paper we explore new methods for combining information from multiple polar-orbiting hyperspectral sounders to analyze the evolution of convective events. Atmospheric and cloud properties retrieved from hyperspectral sounders have become more widely available to forecasters and real-time decision makers in recent times. With a single algorithm now available with which to retrieve atmospheric information from multiple instruments with high accuracy and speed, it is possible to analyze severe local storms quantitatively. Four hyperspectral sounders are currently in operational polar-orbit (two in the AM and two in the PM orbit). We use retrievals from each instrument to construct a time-series of information to characterize the pre-convective and convective environment of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on 20 May 2013. We use this as a case study to demonstrate the quality of information added to storm analysis with hyperspectral sounders. Traditionally, analysts have used image analysis techniques to characterize storm intensity, track and extent. But with multi-instrument hyperspectral sounder retrievals now available in real-time, a time-series of instantaneous quantitative information is available. It is anticipated that with the incorporation of this new source of quantitative information into forecasting and real-time decision-making frameworks, understanding and intelligence about severe storm systems will be markedly improved.