Next Generation Satellite RGB Dust Imagery Demonstration Leads to Changes in Communication and Services by NWS Albuquerque Forecast Office

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 5:00 PM
131C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brian Guyer, NOAA, Albuquerque, NM; and K. K. Fuell

The NASA/Short-term Prediction, Research, and Transition (SPoRT) Program has been providing unique satellite imagery to its operational partners since 2005. The integration of SPoRT transitioned satellite products into operations at NWS Albuquerque has encouraged the development of novel satellite interpretation skills and forecast methodologies. This collaboration has provided numerous opportunities to evaluate the current operational capabilities of single-swath, polar-orbiting imagery and has demonstrated how the imagery can be applied to the operational forecast environment. More recently SPoRT has used the EUMETSAT Best Practices standards for RGB composites to transition a wide array of imagery for multiple uses. In particular, the MODIS/VIIRS high resolution multi-spectral Dust RGB product has served to enhance the detection and monitoring of hazardous blowing dust events. This type of imagery is a large change from the single channel imagery typically used by operational forecast staff and hence, can be a challenge to interpret.

These unique satellite products have also enhanced our decision support services through improved communication of critical information to end users for conference calls, emergency management briefings, social media postings and media interviews. Timely communication of critical weather information to NWS customers and partners is an important contribution to their decision making processes and the weather readiness of communities. As outlined in the NWS Roadmap to a Weather-Ready Nation, the myriad actions taken internally and with partners will translate the Strategic Plan into real-life actions that save lives and livelihoods (NOAA Fact Sheet 2011). The increasing frequency and intensity of blowing dust events across New Mexico further emphasizes the need for heightened situational awareness and the availability of products that more accurately diagnose their evolution. This presentation will not only demonstrate the future capabilities of GOES-R, but more importantly provide relevant examples of how the “Dust RGB” product has extended the vision and mission critical objectives of the NWS.