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Simulated Satellite Imagery: A New Tool For Cloud Cover Forecasting


Simulated satellite imagery, a new tool for model output visualization, has been developed and is currently being tested at a number of National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (WFO), including the Charleston, SC, WFO. Output from convection-resolving (~4-km) models is used as input to the Community Radiative Transfer Model, which calculates the brightness temperatures expected from satellites. The result is a time series of forecast satellite images, out to 60 hours in the future for some models. Currently, simulated imagery is being produced using output from the NSSL WRF-ARW and the NAM CONUS Nest models, but more will be added in the future. Preliminary feedback from WFOs participating in the GOES-R Proving Ground has been overwhelmingly positive. Forecasters particularly like the ability to visualize model forecast clouds, something the traditional coarse resolution models are unable to adequately resolve. Other uses include fog and visibility forecasts, which are a particularly helpful for aviation applications. This presentation will introduce simulated satellite imagery, show a number of examples, and provide information for both public and private sector forecasters on where to obtain the forecast imagery.

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National Weather Association 38th Annual Meeting
Published On
October 01, 2013


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