Satellite Images May Soon Warn Pilots of Storms

14-Feb-2006

Newswise — A new way of analyzing data from weather satellites may soon help pilots avoid flying through rain or turbulence from convective thunderstorms, according to a UAH scientist.

Working with colleagues at UAH, the University of Wisconsin and NASA's Langley Research Center, Dr. John Mecikalski, an assistant professor of atmospheric science, has developed a system that is about 65 percent accurate in giving a one-hour warning before heavy rain starts to fall within a thunderstorm.

"Our goal is to take existing, real-time satellite instruments and predict aviation hazards due to thunderstorms and severe weather," said Mecikalski. "NOAA is evaluating our tool, the FAA is testing it and the Huntsville National Weather Service office used it this past summer."

Results of this research were published in the January edition of the journal "Monthly Weather Review" and will be presented at the annual winter meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta.

Complete Article

I’m not sure who will ultimately be offering this. It could be WSI, Honeywell Bendix-King or Baron.
 
I am working on this project at the University of Wisconsin in Madison with respect to integrating the satellite storm diagnosis into AWIPS so it may be used by the National Weather Service field offices. The images produced include a cloud top cooling rate and convective initiation score product that allows forecasters to identify on an 8-level scale where storms are most likely to develop, therefore forecasting turbulence potential.

At the current time, these images are produced over the Huntsville area only for the HUN WFO as well as the Great Lakes states for the UW, but there is a plan to expand them into a moving sector that follows the SPC slight risk area during the summer.

I cannot say definitively, but they should be freely available for public use from the UW within the coming months. I have no knowledge of a commercial relationship at the time, but I am only on the edges of the project.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them or direct you to someone that can.
 
Originally posted by Jordan Gerth
At the current time, these images are produced over the Huntsville area only for the HUN WFO as well as the Great Lakes states for the UW, but there is a plan to expand them into a moving sector that follows the SPC slight risk area during the summer.
Is there any reason why the applications aren't run for the entire CONUS, so that all WFOs can use?
 
Namely because this is a developing research field and the number of calculations required to run on a CONUS domain would be quite a load to be of any timely use. We cannot spend 30 minutes producing an image that is valid within the next ten to twenty minutes. Maximum lead time is desired. Besides, the SLGT risk area will capture most events for use by a local WFO.

Let me remark, there is no requirement that a WFO use these products. That is, it is not part of the standard OB install at this time.
 
Back
Top