231 From Polar Orbiters to GOES-16: The Evolution of Satellite Multispectral Composite Imagery and Applications at National Weather Service Forecast Offices

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Kristopher D. White, NOAA, Huntsville, AL; and E. Berndt

Since 2011, the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center has provided multispectral composite (i.e Red-Green-Blue (RGB)) imagery to collaborating National Weather Service (NWS) offices as a demonstration of future Advanced Baseline Imager capabilities from GOES-R. With the evolution of RGBs produced by SPoRT as a backdrop, this presentation will focus on the latest applications of RGB imagery in the NWS operational environment during the GOES-16 era.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the Nighttime Microphysics, Dust, and Simple Water Vapor RGBs. The Nighttime Microphysics RGB has demonstrated application for effectively distinguishing between low cloud features such as stratus and fog in some cases, and certainly from other higher-level clouds. The Dust RGB, as its name implies, has proven useful for a more effective analysis of dust events over standard visible imagery. Perhaps unexpectedly, this RGB has also demonstrated skill for identifying moisture boundaries such as the Southern Plains dryline. The Simple Water Vapor RGB, developed by the Japan Meteorological Agency through their initial use of the Advanced Himawari Imager, has demonstrated utility for identifying gradients in mid and upper level atmospheric moisture in the context of underlying developing low clouds and convection. Discussion will include the positive impacts of these multispectral composites for conveying important information about the physical characteristics of the troposphere in a single image, however, limitations and future training needs for the operational community will also be discussed.

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