RMK Satellites ALQDS (311)

Jordan Gerth, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin




The new generation of weather satellites is upon us. The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is in the process of achieving a robust weather satellite constellation with new satellite systems in both geostationary and polar orbits.

After the first satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R), GOES-16, became the operational &ldquoEast&rdquo satellite in December 2017, the second satellite in the series launched in March 2018, and is expected to become the operational &ldquoWest&rdquo satellite in October 2018. Entering the low-earth orbit, the first satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) launched in November 2017 and is now NOAA-20. Additional geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite launches are expected in the coming years with similar instrumentation to power the weather enterprise into the 2030s.

Meteorologists were quick to realize the capabilities of the new satellites for rapidly imaging and capturing amazing detail of evolving weather phenomena. But there is still more value to unlock, starting with the spectral bands from the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the GOES-R series.

Observations from the polar orbit are also too often overlooked. JPSS complements the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) with additional nighttime visible and microwave imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Advanced Microwave Technology Sounder (ATMS).

This presentation will discuss how operational meteorologists can use the imagery and products from the new era of weather satellites to assist in the daily weather forecast and analysis workflows, focusing on the some of the new and lesser-known applications on the horizon. Information about online training materials for the new-generation weather satellites will also be shared.