Wednesday, 13 January 2016
The National Weather Service Office at Huntsville has been a host to a number of GOES-R and JPSS Proving Ground products in forecast operations for several years thanks to a long-standing partnership with the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center. The North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) has provided total lightning data to the Huntsville NWS office nearly since the office's inception in spring 2003. While not exactly similar to future Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data due to arrive in NWS operations in 2016, the NALMA total lightning data have served as a conceptual proxy for the GLM. With the creation and subsequent delivery of satellite RGB products into AWIPS as early as 2011, forecasters have had several years to utilize, test and evaluate the efficacy of these products in the operational environment. Although the improved resolution and information provided with RGBs can be advantageous for certain operational forecast challenges, data latency and insufficient temporal resolution can be a deterrent for proper evaluation, especially in relatively data-rich locations such as the Southeast CONUS. Nevertheless, when evaluated fairly, while understanding data limitations and with regard to future capabilities, these products have demonstrated advantages particularly for fog and low stratus detection and forecasting in the Tennessee Valley region.
In this presentation, several RGB and Proving Ground products will be presented, including but not limited to the Nighttime Microphysics, Daytime Microphysics and Day-Night Band RGBs, and their specific use for fog and low stratus detection will be discussed. Additionally, the recent operational use of flash extent density data derived by the NALMA, which serve as a better proxy than source density data traditionally used in operations, will be described and discussed.
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