Satellite Products to Monitor and Predict Hurricane Sandy – Current and Emerging Products

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Thursday, 6 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael J. Folmer, Univ. of Maryland, Elkridge, MD; and M. DeMaria and R. R. Ferraro

From a meteorological perspective, “Super Storm” Sandy was a “perfect storm” in terms of the convergence of several synoptic features which phased together along the Mid-Atlantic coastline to create record low-pressure, a huge wind field with corresponding storm surge and copious amounts of precipitation in some areas, including record snowfall. The two features that phased – Hurricane Sandy moving northward along the Atlantic seaboard, and a strong mid-latitude winter season type disturbance – alone would have caused significant weather and disruptions in the area. But the combined impacts of Sandy to the public were nearly unthinkable for this region in terms loss of life, property damage, economic loss, and coastal flooding and erosion. Satellites played an integral role in the analysis and forecast of Sandy's track and intensity. The National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), and the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) all relied on information from satellites to make critical warning decisions using various satellite products that assist with diagnosing convective intensity, surface winds over ocean, and heavy precipitation. Many of the most reliable global forecast models used satellite data for initiation to better forecast the track and intensity of Sandy. As part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R-series (GOES-R) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Proving Ground activities, new satellite products were available to forecasters at these national centers in experimental form to assist with observing this unique, high impact event. This presentation will focus on how current satellite products assisted forecasters during Sandy and will also introduce some newer satellite products that could be used to analyze and predict future high impact weather systems.