Tropical Cyclone Cloud Height Calculations from Stereoscopic Satellite Imagery Part II: Testing Output for Aviation Service

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 9:30 AM
232A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Lance E. Steele, Weathernews America, Inc., Norman, OK

Private sector clients, in this case the commercial aviation industry, require accurate weather data covering large areas and time spans. Our company strives to provide reliable forecasts for a variety of aviation customers, particularly in the Asian region. Therefore, we are studying and implementing new techniques to provide better information alongside our standard operational forecast services. Since cloud heights, thunderstorms, and tropical cyclones are of particular concern to commercial aviation, we tested a new product over the 2014 Tropical Cyclone season. This computer program is a cloud height detection map derived from Japan's Himawari 6 and China's Fengyun 2E geostationary visible imaging platforms. This discussion begins with a brief review of a previous AMS presentation which focused on the methodology of using visible imagery from two geostationary satellites for stereoscopic cloud height calculation, as well as the benefit it provides over conventional infrared imagery height retrievals. This presentation's primary focus is to show the program's resulting stereoscopic images and cloud height analyses for the Western Pacific region. In addition, another product put into operation, distinguishing cumulonimbus from other cloud types, is described. Final discussion includes future work, project goals, verification, and feedback.