Satellite-based Nowcasting and Aviation Program

SNAAP Projects

MSG SEVIRI Convection Products for COPS

Scientists at UW-CIMSS, in collaboration with the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), have developed a set of convective storm diagnostic and nowcasting products using Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) imagery. As MSG has many similar spectral bands to those of the future GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the objective of this effort is to demonstrate the potential improvement for convective storm diagnosis and nowcasting products from the improved spatial/temporal resolution and spectral information that ABI will provide, with MSG imagery serving as a proxy for this future instrument.

Included in this product suite are: 1) an objective convective cloud classification using 1 km high-resolution visible and 11 channel multi-spectral IR imagery, 2) high-density mesoscale satellite atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from a 30 minute sequence of high-resolution visible, 10.8 micron IR window, and 6.2 micron water vapor channel imagery, 3) an estimate of cumulus cloud-top cooling rates combining products 1 and 2 above, 4) IR channel differencing information that can help identify cumulus in a pre-convective initiation state, and 5) a convective initiation nowcast that identifies rapidly growing cumulus likely to evolve into deep convective storms up to 1 hour in the future. It is important to note that these are DAYTIME ONLY products, as visible channel information is used in development of the AMV and convective cloud mask products.

These products are currently being produced over the Convective and Orographically-Induced Precipitation Study (COPS) domain. The primary objective of the COPS experiment is to collect detailed observations of convective storms over the complex terrain of Eastern France and Southern Germany, which will be used to better understand convective storm initiation and cumulus dynamical processes, as well as to improve short- and long-term quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) within numerical weather prediction models. Ground-based radar reflectivity observations collected during COPS will be used to validate satellite convective initiation nowcasts. Also, wind profiling radar observations can be used to validate mesoscale AMVs.

A climatology of convectively-induced clouds over the COPS domain, using the UAH cumulus classifier (product #1 above), highlights the strong relationship between higher topography and maxima in small, towering, and deep convective clouds. This climatology from June-August 05-06 also reveals that small cumulus often form around 1000 UTC (~11 AM local time) with initiation of deep convection often occurring later at 1300 UTC (2:00 PM local time) over the higher elevation regions of Eastern France and Southern Germany.

Click here to view this suite of MSG SEVIRI convective storm diagnostic and nowcasting products

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Mecikalski, J. R., and K. M. Bedka, 2006: Forecasting convective initiation by monitoring the evolution of moving convection in daytime GOES imagery. Mon. Wea. Rev. 134, 49-78.

Bedka, K. M., and J. R. Mecikalski, 2005: Application of satellite-derived atmospheric motion vectors for estimating mesoscale flows. J. Appl. Meteor. , 44, 1761-1772.

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