The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on GOES-16, launched 19 November 2016, fulfills long-awaited promises for spectral capabilities on the geostationary platform that are on par with those of polar-orbiting satellites. With its 16 bands distributed across the optical spectrum (0.4-14 mm), including multiple bands in the visible and near infrared, ABI represents a 3-fold increase in spectral resolution over the previous generation GOES imager. The rich suite of environmental applications enabled by ABI has been previewed for several years to operational National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters via the GOES-R Satellite Proving Ground (PG) project, wherein proxy data for ABI (e.g., the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Radiometer Suite (MODIS) on Terra/Aqua and the Visible/Infrared Imaging Radiometer (VIIRS) on Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership) offered glimpses of what was to come. Among the many imagery applications highlighted in the PG, true color imagery and GeoColo
r (providing a 24-hr product that includes daytime true color) familiarized analysts with a capability that has not been featured on the geostationary platform for a half century. For ABI, the development of true color and other multispectral imagery products benefitted from the availability of Japan’s Himawari-8 Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI), launched two years before GOES-16.
This presentation highlights initial results of multi-spectral imagery applications developed for GOES-16 ABI, including the pathway to enabling true color imagery based on synthetic green band formulation, the extension to GeoColor fusion imagery, and selected feature enhancements for lofted dust, active fires, and other environmental parameters of high value to operational forecasters. These developments are part of a recently initiated research project, sponsored by the GOES-R Program Office—Developing an Environmental Awareness Repertoire of ABI Imagery (‘DEAR-ABII’). Crafted with the objective of advising the operational weather forecaster, DEAR-ABII takes advantage of the tremendous information content offered by GOES-16 (and the forthcoming GOES-17) in terms of spatial, temporal, spectral, and radiometric resolution. The information is distilled into a suite of visually intuitive and value-added imagery products, displayable on both public websites (e.g., http://rammb-slider.cira.colostate.edu) as well as the operational display systems of the NWS, including the next-generation Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS-II).