872 The Improved Satellite Analysis Branch Precipitation Program and its Use of GOES-R/JPSS Proving Ground Products in an Operational Environment

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Dustin A. Sheffler, NOAA/NESDIS, College Park, MD; and M. J. Folmer

The Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) Heavy Precipitation Desk has been providing satellite trends and estimates for over 30 years to the National Weather Service (NWS); mostly through issuance of the text based SPE (Satellite Precipitation Estimate) product and the more recently developed accompanying graphical analysis. Over the past five to ten years, satellite estimates have become a secondary source of estimated precipitation amounts to NWS field offices as radar based estimates and rain gauge networks have improved offering better temporal and spatial resolution than can be provided from satellite alone. As a result, SAB's Heavy Precipitation Desk has evolved to focus less on providing quantitative satellite estimates to the NWS field. Rather more emphasis has been placed on qualitative satellite analysis and meteorological trends that are having or will have an effect on the development of heavy rain or snow. This transformation includes utilizing new and experimental satellite data sources in addition to operational satellite data to provide short term synoptic to mesoscale guidance to the NWS to assist with issuance of watches and warnings.

Since 2012, SAB has partnered with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS) GOES-R and JPSS Satellite Liaison, who also works with NOAA/NCEP Centers OPC, NHC, and WPC, to assist with the evaluation of Proving Ground experimental products provided by CIRA and NASA SPoRT for use in analyzing significant hydro-meteorological events. Experimental products currently under evaluation include; the Convective Initiation algorithm, Overshooting Tops algorithm, Airmass RGB products, Lightning Density, Layered Precipitable Water (LPW), In-Cloud Estimated Snowfall Rate, Synthetic Satellite Imagery, and Ozone and Ozone Anomaly. The incorporation of these experimental products into the meteorological analysis process for SPE messages has led to greater satellite guidance lead times, increased situational awareness, and higher confidence in analysis and forecasts of heavy precipitation events. This forward-thinking approach has benefited not only the SAB Precipitation Desk through the creation of improved products that incorporate these experimental algorithms, but also benefits the algorithm developers by providing feedback and introduces NWS forecasters to future satellite products as we near the start of the GOES-R and JPSS eras.

Supplementary URL: http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/atmosphere/spe/

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