4.5 Preparing for the GOES-R Era: Recommendations for NWS Training on 1-Minute Satellite Imagery

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 9:30 AM
Room 252/254 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Katie L. Crandall, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Kansas City, MO; and C. M. Gravelle, D. W. Snyder, and K. J. Runk

In preparation for the launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R Series, the Operations Proving Ground (OPG) hosted six week-long evaluations of 1-minute satellite imagery in the first part of 2015. Seventeen National Weather Service (NWS) operational forecasters from four regions (Central, Southern, Western, and Eastern) participated in these evaluations with the primary purpose of assessing the value and usefulness of integrating high temporal resolution satellite imagery into various analysis and forecast applications. Simulations were developed using GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) cases from 2013 and 2014. After the initial six week-long evaluations, two additional weeks were added with the primary purpose of assessing the ability to integrate live high temporal resolution satellite imagery from GOES-14 SRSOR into the convective warning process. During these evaluations, participants emphatically agreed that proper training on high temporal resolution satellite imagery would be crucial for the adoption of this imagery into forecast operations at NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs).

Participants agreed that widespread embracement of high temporal resolution satellite imagery by field forecasters will be dependent on the form and quality of the pre-deployment training. Feedback from post-simulation debriefs, facilitated discussions, and an anonymous post-evaluation survey indicated that participants felt that the training program needs to address two distinct themes: physical understanding of the 1-minute satellite imagery and effective practices for forecast applications. The majority of participants suggested that a training program for GOES-R imagery should encompass a diverse combination of techniques and delivery methods. Suggestions included core modules for every NWS forecaster that include material relating to science and technical aspects of GOES-R; concise one-pagers that summarize critical applications or best practices; the presence of a satellite focal point at each NWS forecast office; and tools that allow forecasters to create their own brief and focused case studies illustrating how to apply satellite-related applications in their own local area. Case studies created by NWS forecasters should then become available to the larger NWS community. A final recommendation arose from the OPG evaluation process itself. All participants expressed that working the OPG simulations was not only an effective means of assessing the imagery's usefulness, it was also an inherently valuable training experience. Thus, the OPG is developing a prototype system aimed at reproducing that process in the local office to create a more realistic “whole office training” concept. The GOES-R era will present new opportunities for learning, improving forecasting, and conducting operational research. This presentation will discuss the training recommendations collected from operational forecasters during the OPG 1-minute satellite imagery evaluations and why they are essential for maximizing the use of high-temporal resolution satellite imagery in the GOES-R era.

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