227 Anticipating Winter Weather with Next-Generation Satellite Sensors

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Emily Berndt, MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and S. S. Harkema and M. J. Folmer

Satellite imagery is not traditionally used to anticipate and forecast winter weather, rather reliance on model data and radar imagery is more common. Next-generation sensors such as the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) onboard GOES-16, NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager and Precipitation Radar, and the S-NPP and JPSS Cross-track Infrared Sounder/Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (CrIS/ATMS) provide the opportunity to explore the utility of new sensors and bands for diagnosing the environment before and during complex winter weather such as heavy banded snow or mixed precipitation events. Monitoring lighting with GLM for example, can be an indicator for efficient dendritic growth and intense snowfall rates. For this reason, the unprecedented observations available with GLM provide the potential to gain a deeper understanding of the role of lightening in anticipating heavy banded snow and intense snowfall rates. New channels available from ABI could be utilized for identification of cloud particle size/phase and the opportunity to create new multispectral products. Passive microwave observations from GPM and ATMS can be compared with GLM and surface observations to further understand the role of lightning and increase in snowfall rate. In addition, CrIS/ATMS NUCAPS Soundings can be used to diagnose the thermodynamic characteristics of the pre-event environment to look for both synoptic (dry/moist intrusions associated with conveyor belts and TROWAL) and mesoscale indicators (dry layers that impact stability, lapse rates, localized temperature/moisture profiles) of heavy banded snow or mixed precipitation. Integration of advanced sensors provides the opportunity to create data fusion products for the operational environment and demonstrate how these sensors can be used to better understand the environment conducive to complex winter weather. This presentation highlights the advantages and limitations of these new sensors for anticipating winter weather. Examples of GOES-16 GLM and ABI imagery, CrIS/ATMS NUCAPS Soundings, and GPM snowfall rate will be highlighted for winter weather events that occurred during the 2017-2018 late fall and winter.
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