The GOES-R and JPSS Proving Ground Programs were conceived to demonstrate and familiarize forecasters with the next generation geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite products and capabilities that will be incorporated into NOAA operations. The 2015 satellite product demonstrations at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC), Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), National Hurricane Center (NHC) Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB), and Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) concentrated on convective applications that address rainfall and marine severe thunderstorm hazards as well as an introduction to the new Himawari-8 satellite. These pre-operational demonstrations allow forecasters to evaluate proxy and simulated GOES-R and JPSS data and refresh rate in a quasi-operational environment. Forecasters use proxy data from research and operational satellite instruments (GOES, MODIS, VIIRS, SEVIRI, among others), WRF model forecasts, and lightning networks to support their forecast and warning decision making. During product evaluations, forecasters help identify the strengths and limitations of the new GOES-R and JPSS capabilities prior to launch, providing valuable feedback to the product developers. Product developers then can use these evaluations to improve the operational versions.
The GOES-R satellite was launched on November 19, 2016 and once it achieved orbit at 22,300 miles above Earth, the satellite was renamed GOES-16. It is currently undergoing Beta testing and the data will become provisional summer 2017. As GOES-16 has now been designated as GOES-E, the MPS Proving Ground has started to focus on the integration of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) products into forecast routines. The ABI offers up 16 channels, 15-min (Full Disk), 5-min (CONUS), and 1-min (Mesoscale) imagery, many Level-2 products (SST, Derived Motion Winds, Cloud Top Temperature, Rainfall Rate, etc.), and Multispectral Combinations of the channels (RGBs). The GLM offers up events, groups, and flashes with the possibility of grouping the flashes into a density product where forecasters will be able to learn more about the most intense thunderstorms. This presentation will focus on the first uses of GOES-16 in operations and lessons learned.