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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 1st Quarter FY 98

RESEARCH (Meteorological)


  • Sever Storm
    • Data from the 31 May 1996 severe weather event are being used in a variety of applications.  The case is unique in that it was the “first-ever” 30-second interval imagery data set.  Data from the case are now part of the training material for the Convective Initiation segment of COMET’s SatMet course.  The data were also used as the basis for an article on nighttime outflow identification (see publications below).  An electronic version of this article can be found on the web at http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/jw/outflow1.htm
    • Carol Vaughn and Karen Winston have successfully integrated mesonet data and satellite imagery using the McIDAS, MDWRITE program.  Oklahoma mesonetwork data can now be displayed on maps in image format and therefore overlaid on images.  A case study of tornadic storms which occurred on 25 May 1997 in Oklahoma will now be carried out using this new capability.
    • The Fort Collins Flash flood of 28 July 1997 killed 5 people, destroyed 200 mobile homes, 19 frame houses, and severely damaged 2,000 other structures.  This past quarter J. Weaver presented numerous talks to various federal, state, and local officials on the meteorological aspects of the flood.   An abstract of a paper on the event was submitted to the 8th conference on mountain meteorology to be held in Flagstaff, Arizona in August of 1998.  (Note: a few photographs from the night of the flood and following few days are available on the Internet and can be viewed at http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/C_SAFETY/DISPATCH/pfa3.htm
    • Idealized CSU/RAMS model simulations were run using 26 Apr 1991 sounding data from Oklahoma City.  The study tests the sensitivity of severe storms to vertical wind shear.  Several runs were made using various wind profiles.  A near-zero wind case, in which two storms were triggered with model-generated convergence, finds that subsequent outflow interactions are not effective in generating long-lived convection.  This is because the new storm growth occurs in an environment of storm-induced subsidence.
    • Forecast Systems Laboratory has supplied RAMMT with code to allow RAMS to initialize a three-dimensional cloud field from the LAPS (Local Area Prediction System) data.  The cloud field information will be used to initialize mesoscale environments for severe weather simulations.
  • Tropical
    • An investigation of the vertical wind shear forcing on the intensity and track changes of Hurricane Erika has identified ten different environmental vertical wind profiles, each of which are for consecutive time periods of 12 to 45 hr, covering September 1-12, 1997.  Those profiles evaluate the mean wind over a 5 degree latitude radius circle around the tropical cyclone (TC) center.  Three different approaches are used.  Numerical model analyses, storm center IR average images, and high density satellite winds are used.  The results show that a two-level analysis of vertical shear may at times be inadequate, and that the direction of vertical shear is important to the analysis.  The three methods combined with sea-surface temperature analyses, observed intensity changes, and TC motion are shown to fit a simple model approach.
    • A new project is planned for analysis of inner core upper winds from 1-minute visible imagery.  Training and planning meetings with Kelly Findeisen (CSU graduate student), John Knaff, and Dr. William Gray’s project have taken place.  This project will focus on use of SRSO manual winds in the inner core region of Hurricane Marilyn.  SRSO imagery was collected on 5 consecutive days with Hurricane Marilyn (1995).  Dave Watson is supporting this project with data processing and CD-ROM archiving.
    • Significant and interesting tropical cyclones were analyzed in near real time.  Such analyses included digital IR intensity analyses, storm relative average images, and equatorial westerly wind burst analysis.  The tropical cyclones were located in both Northern and Southern Hemisphere and included Hurricanes Guillermo, Linda, Nora, and Pauline in the eastern Pacific, Typhoons Ivan, Joan, Keith and Paka in the western Pacific, and Cyclones Pam, Ron and Susan in the South Pacific.  Super typhoon Paka which hit Guam with considerable damage and Cyclone Pam formed as twin cyclones unusually far east in the central Pacific, in response to the ongoing strong El Nino.
    • High resolution (10 sec) flight (10,000 ft) level observations form the Air Force Reserve “Hurricane Hunter” C-130 reconnaissance flights for the entire 1995 season have been obtained from the Hurricane Research Division, Miami.  Previously, these data have been successfully converted to MCIDAS format so that flight level information can be displayed along with the satellite imagery.  In addition, programs to place these data in a storm relative position at common synoptic times  (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z) or snapshots, interpolate azimuthally around the storm in a high resolution manner, and break these data into individual radial legs have been successfully written.
    •  Cloud track winds have been manually derived from rapid and super rapid scan images for Erika 1997, and for Luis (1995) (for only one super rapid scan period).  Programs have been written to remove storm motion, and place these data in similar storm relative synoptic snapshots.
    • It has been shown that data from the manually derived cloud track winds derived the rapid and super rapid scan imagery, high resolution water vapor winds from the University of Wisconsin, and the radially interpolated Air Force C-130 reconnaissance can be combined to form a superior synoptic and mesoscale wind analysis around Atlantic tropical cyclones.  An outline for a paper to be submitted to either Weather and Forecasting or The Journal of Atmospheric and Ocean Technology discussing this methodology has been created.
    • Work has begun on a case study of Hurricane Luis (1995).  This study will utilize the super rapid scan satellite imagery, Air Force reconnaissance data, NCEP reanalysis data, and high resolution water vapor winds.  To date individual radial legs, and azimuthally interpolated synoptic snapshots have been created using the flight level observations, and the water vapor winds and NCEP reanalysis data have been obtained from various sources.
    • Seasonal predictions of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for the 1998 hurricane season (“LAD multiple linear regression forecast of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity for 1998”), and future El Nino/Southern Oscillation conditions (“Application of the El Nino – Southern Oscillation CLImatology and PERsistence (CLIPER) forecasting scheme”) were prepared in December and were informally published in the Climate Predictions Center’s Experimental Long-Lead Forecast Bulletin.
    • Two Super Typhoons occurring simultaneously in the West Pacific were studied, using GMS-5 satellite imagery.   Ivan and Joan  were the 8th and 9th Super Typhoons to form this year in this area of the Pacific.  It was an unusual occurrence for two storms of this strength to occur at the same time and both of them being  so close to satellite subpoint.  Because of the close proximity to subpoint, the stadium effect (inward sloping of the eyewall), can be seen.  The outflows of the two storms were unique also. Ivan’s extends to the north-east while Joan’s stretches to the south-west.  The significance of this, is that even with  their close proximity, the two outflows are not affecting one another. Daily Global Analysis SST anomaly charts, a product of NOAA/NESDIS, show that the storms produce a cold wake through upwelling.  (Click on image for full size display.)
  • Lake Effect Snow
    • Results from analysis of SRSO data from the LES case of 16 Jan 1997 have been incorporated into the Detroit NWS web page on LES storms at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/LES.HTM .  These data have now been made generally available via the Internet (see Virtual Laboratory, below).
    • Model simulations of both idealized and actual LES bands show that the surface precipitation cores occur directly below and immediately downwind from the coldest cloud tops as seen in channel 4 imagery.  Both simulations suggest that the existence of cloud liquid water at cloud top implies the primary precipitation type is graupel.  Finally, they show that outside these regions graupel is still the precipitation type reaching the ground in quantity.  Snow crystals actually represent great ice mass, but they fall slower and advect further.
  • Extra Tropical Cyclones
    • Began the creation of full disk 6.7 and 10.7 um channel imagery loops for the month of Feb. 1997.  These are being compiled to get a broad view of the atmosphere as pertaining to the second month of the FASTEX experiment.
    • Sent CD’s containing satellite imagery for FASTEX Intensive Observation Period (IOP) 11, IOP17, and IOP 18 to Mel Shapiro of the Environmental Technology Laboratory.  These three IOP’s were chosen for further CIRA/ETL collaborative study by Mel Shapiro and Jack Dostalek
  • Natural Hazards
    • The development of a new volcanic ash detection product continues using visible imagery and a combination of the 3.9, 10.7 and 12.0 micrometer imagery.  Since the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat has been very active over the last several months, visible, 3.9, 10.7 and 12.0 micrometer imagery are being collected and archived regularly.  The multichannel combination of the 3.9, 10.7 and 12.0 micrometer imagery seems to be most promising for detection of the ash plume at night.  Below are some examples of detection during the day and after dark.  (Click on images for full size display.)

      • Figure {1}.  GOES-8 15-minute interval Visible imagery showing volcanic ash plume

     

      • from a violent erruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat on 21 October 1997 (1531-2045 UTC).

     

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    Figure {2}.  Detection of volcanic ash during the day using GOES-8 visible imagery, the reflectivity product, the 10.7/12.0 micrometer difference product, and a test product combining the 3.9, 10.7, and 12.0 micrometer imagery.  The imagery depict ash from the Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat on 21 October 1997 at 1845 UTC.
     
     

    Figure {3}.  Detection of volcanic ash during the night using the reflectivity product, the 10.7/12.0 micrometer difference product, and a test product combining the 3.9, 10.7, and 12.0 micrometer GOES-8 imagery.  The imagery depict ash from the Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat on 21 October 1997 at 2215 UTC.

RESEARCH (Field Experiments)


  • VORTEX

    VORTEX (Weaver, Grasso)

    • Nothing to report this quarter
  • FASTEX

    FASTEX (Dostalek)

    • RAMM continued support of the ETL RAMSDIS set up in September.  This unit was set up not only as a research RAMSDIS, but also a real time ingesting system in support of the CALJET experiment.

RESEARCH (Applications Development)


  • GOES Product Improvment and Development
    • A channel 4 minus 5 longwave difference product is being generated from both GOES-8 and 9 and is displayed on RAMSDIS at CIRA.  The resulting differences are displayed as a loop of 8 frames, along with a loop of GOES channel 5 images.  The difference is the largest for thin cirrus clouds streaming downwind from larger anvil tops.  Eventually this difference product will be combined with the GOES channel 4 image to generate a surface skin temperature image.
    • Work continued this quarter on the visible enhancement program under Day 2 Product Development.  This program enhances visible data according to two ranges of 10.7 micrometer infrared brightness temperature.  That is, cold and warm clouds will be enhanced separately.
  • Soundings
    • Several variations of image products generated from GOES Sounder channels have been displayed on the Sounder RAMSDIS at CIRA.  The Sounder RAMSDIS used for testing channel combinations that might yield useful meteorological information.  The fog/reflectivity product and longwave infrared channel-difference products are generated from GOES Sounder channels in spectral regions equivalent to those normally used to generate these products from the GOES Imager.  In addition, the products are generated from more than one channel in each spectral region since the Sounder has a choice of channels.  As examples, the fog/reflectivity product can be generated using either the 3.9 or 3.7 µm channel, and the longwave difference product can be generated using either the 12.0 or 12.6 µm channel.
    • The technique of clustering satellite measurements into groups of similar values before doing retrievals is being re-investigated.  Software for clustering any combination of GOES Sounder channels is being tested at CIRA on data from the NESDIS server.  Clustering will eventually be tested in an ‘operational’ GOES retrieval mode to compare it to normal blocking of sounding FOVs into either 5×5 or 3×3 groups.  The initial steps to this testing have been taken with further progress expected as the initial cases are examined.
  • Satellite/Radar

    Ordered WSR-88D data for Cheyenne and Denver for the 28 July 1997 Fort Collins flash flood case. These data will be used to test the precipitation estimation product currently under development.

  • Calibration/Validation

    The SOCC/RAMSDIS continues to pull in data and be used to assess GOES image quality. Sounder data is now available on the RAMSDIS server, and data quality will eventually be assessed in a manner similar to GOES Imager data.

  • Cloud Classification

    Nothing to report this quarter

  • Precipitation

    A preliminary Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) algorithm has been developed. The algorithm utilizes boundary layer water vapor mixing ratio, storm efficiency and storm motion to estimate flash flood potential. The next focus will be on storm efficiency.

  • Climatology
      • The archival of 2-byte GOES-8 and GOES-9 Continental US (CONUS) sectors at 4 km resolution for hourly visible, 3.9, 6.7, 10.7 and 12.0 micrometer imagery continues.  This effort is directed at developing consistent monthly climatologies for all AWIPS sites over the US.   General averages, maximum and minimum image composites, and cloud frequency images were derived for September, October and November 1997 for GOES 8 and 9 CONUS sectors for the visible (daylight hours only), 3.9, 6.7, 10.7 and 12.0 micrometer channels.  Programs modifications were made to ensure compatibility of 1-byte and 2-byte image files and to speed up the processing of large volumes of data.

     

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      • Collection of PCGRIDDS – ETA model data started in October 1997.  The gridded data are being used to generate a mean boundary layer (~1000-700 hPa) wind speed and a resultant boundary layer wind direction to designate a wind regime to be used for monthly satellite climatologies.  Programs are being written to calculate the information once daily (12Z) for each of the 108 AWIPS sites.  This information will be used in further development of the CONUS monthly climatologies.  Following are examples of CONUS averages and minimum radiances.  (Click on images for full size display.)

     

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    • The collection and archival of hourly visible, 3.9, 6.7 and 10.7 um imagery for developing climatologies in Costa Rica continues.  Hourly climatology imagery (Visible, 3.9, 6.7 and 10.7 micrometer) for September and October 1997 were sent to Costa Rica.   The November and December 1997 imagery will be sent to Costa Rica by the second week in January.  One year of data has been collected.  Costa Rica is excited about the climatology imagery and has requested that the coverage area be expanded.  In mid-November, the archive of a larger area at coarser resolution for the visible, 3.9 and 10.7 um imagery was started.  Below are examples of Costa Rica average images.  (Click on images for full size display.)

     

  • Mesoscale Modeling

    Nothing to report this quarter

  • Winds and Cloud Heights
    • A program which calculates geometric cloud heights from shadows is nearly ready for general distribution to RAMSDIS sites.  The program requires human input, so is most useful for special case studies.
    • An asynchronous stereo/wind analysis program is under continuing development.  In this quarter, a mixture of GOES and AVHRR data was used to derive heights matching the GOES 8 plus GOES 9 results.  Also, favorable comparisons have been made with the NESDIS automatic cloud motion analysis.  The program is still in the demonstration phase.  Analysis with  4 km, channel 4 data seems to be working, since its results match very well with the VIS 1 km data analysis.  Next we need to test the combination of GOES 4 km IR and AVHRR 4 km IR data (GAC).  The following two figures are of interest (Click on images for full-size imagery):

     

      Figure 1.  GOES 9 visible image with cloud heights and winds derived using AVHRR LAC data.  GOES data were available at 20:45, 21:00, 21:30 and AVHRR at 21:20.  The numbers represent the height of the clouds or land in hectometers (98 = 9.8 km).  The height of the ground should be subtracted from the analyzed height.

     

      Figure 2.  GOES 9 IR image with cloud heights/winds derived with the use of AVHRR LAC data.  The 1 km LAC data were remapped into the GOES 4 km IR data file.  After adjusting for the analyzed height of the ground, cloud heights match results from the 1 km visible analysis to within 0.5 km.
    •  For the stereo analysis a REMAP program is required.  The McIDAS REMAP program has been modified to allow 2-byte output and may be of general interest to the McIDAS community.

RESEARCH (Outside Interaction)


  • National Labs

    National Labs (Weaver, Zehr)

    • GOES-8 Satellite imagery  was provided to Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) for a project involving the detection of wind magnitude and rainfall rate with acoustic sensors deployed below the ocean surface.  A sector of  GOES-8 visible  and 3.9 um imagery at night has been set up on the  Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team Advanced Meteorological Satellite Demonstration and Interpretation System at Hurricane Research Division to monitor the weather in an area of the ocean centered on  the Bahamas.
    • Interaction continues with Hurricane Research Division (HRD) at AOML on use of Tropical RAMSDIS and collaborative research projects.  Implemented new product on Tropical RAMSDIS, which derives Sea Surface Temperatures using channels 4 and 5 on the GOES-8 imager.
  • Universities

    Universities (Zehr, Grasso, Molenar)

    • J. Weaver is involved in a joint effort by the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science to document the Fort Collins flash flood of 28 July 97 through a series of conference papers and journal articles.
    • Continued cooperative work with Dr. William Gray’s project includes participation in project meetings, data management consultations,  real-time tropical weather discussions, and class lectures.  Daily weather briefings during the hurricane season using Tropical RAMSDIS are organized by CSU graduate students, and attended by a diverse group of faculty, students and staff.
    • D. Molenar is involved in efforts to develop interactive satellite data training and analysis software with the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center and UNIDATA.  A new version of the software is to be available in March, 1998, to be used in conjunction with RAMSDIS OnLine to conduct VISIT training sessions.
    • J. Weaver supplied a short manuscript as input to a book by professor Roger Pielke on Extratropical Cyclones (ETCs).  The topic was on strong winds associated with ETCs.
    • Interactions with Roger Pielke, Sr, Joe Eastman, Tom Chase (CSU) and Tim Kittel (NCAR)  has resulted in the submission of a manuscript entitled “1973-1906 trends in depth-averaged tropospheric temperatures” to the Journal of Geophysical Research.
  • Other NESDIS

    Other NESDIS (Hillger, Molenar, Zehr)

    • G. Ellrod (Wash, DC) visited the CIRA on December 11 to learn about several experimental image products available on the RAMSDIS units.  Some of the image products are a result of experimental work with Principal Component Image (PCI) transformation of GOES Imager and Sounder data. Another experimental product involves volcanic ash detection with the 3.9, 6.7, and 10.7 µm imagery.
    • R. Zehr has begun serving as Coordinator for Tropical Cyclones with the Disaster Management Support Project of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS).  This Project is chaired by Helen Wood (NESDIS).
    • J. Daniels of the Forecast Products Development Team (Wash, DC) visited the RAMM Team on December 4 to discuss a cooperative effort to include RAMM-developed software into operational sounding product generation.  Jaime also learned about several of the RAMM Team Advanced RAMSDIS products and the RAMSDIS Online which automatically generates a suite of products.
    • Videotapes were produced and sent to John Paquette in Washington which compare GOES 30-sec., 1-min., 7.5 min., and 15 min scans.
    • Sent two cases (liquid water cloud over snow and supercooled water cloud) to Jane D’Aguanno and Pat Viets as examples of new uses of satellite imagery.  The examples were for press releases and congressional briefings.
  • NWS

    NWS (Dostalek, Motta, Winston, Molenar, Weaver)

    • Von Woods (NWS Atlanta, Georgia), and Dennis Cain (NWS San Joaquin, California) visited CIRA on December 7 for a demonstration of RAMSDIS satellite climatology efforts.  Von already has the RAMSDIS satellite climatology programs and was looking for more information on accessing the data and tailoring climatology to their region.  Dennis is from the Western Region and expressed interested in obtaining the climatology programs to initiate a fog climatology for his region of the country.
    • Initial preparations are underway for a dryline experiment using the Research RAMSDIS in Lubbock, Texas this spring.  The experiment will include researchers from the Lubbock, TX, NWS, Texas Tech University, and CIRA participants (J. Weaver and J. Dostalek).
    • New software was sent to Lubbock, TX NWS for testing.  The software allows users to erase maps plotted on the RAMSDIS loops (in order that the satellite imagery alone may be viewed).
    • Steve Kays (Topeka NWS) inquired about the use of the 10.7 and 12.0 um difference product currently available in AWIPS.  An analogous product is being generated by the RAMMT for evaluation and improvement.
    • D. Hillger participated in the NWS Annual GOES Assessment Meeting held in Silver Springs on November 6 and 7.  Examples of CIRA/RAMM Team contributions to GOES Assessment were presented.
  • POP

    Product Oversight Panel (Hillger)

    • Nothing to report this quarter
  • WMO

    WMO (Connell, Vaughn)

    • Vilma Castro from the Regional Meteorological Training Center (RMTC) in Costa Rica visited the CIRA the week of November 3-7 to review progress over the past year and discuss objectives and goals for the coming year.  The main topics discussed included the satellite climatology project, methods to increase the ingest of data during the day when internet traffic is heavy, troubleshooting on the RAMSDIS systems, and plans for a satellite meteorology workshop that will take place in Costa Rica in 1999.  Vilma also met with various CIRA staff to become more familiar with their work.
    • Hourly climatology imagery (Visible, 3.9, 6.7 and 10.7 micrometer) for September and October 1997 were sent to Costa Rica.   The November and December 1997 imagery will be sent to Costa Rica by the second week in January 1998.  One year of data has been collected and looked at in various capacities.   Costa Rica is excited about the climatology imagery and has requested that the coverage area be expanded.  In mid-November, the archive of a larger area at coarser resolution for the visible, 3,9 and 10.7 imagery was started.
    • Worked continued towards completion of a collaborative paper with the RMTC in Barbados entitled “Heavy Rainfall over the Southern Windward Islands – October 25-26, 1996.
    •  R. Zehr was invited to serve as Working Group Member for Topics on Tropical Cyclone Formation and Tropical Cyclone Intensity for the WMO International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones (IWTC-4), Haikou, China, April 21-30, 1998.
  • Miscellaneous

    Miscellaneous (Molenar, Watson, Dostalek, Weaver, Zehr)


    Meetings:

    • Members of the RAMM/CIRA  precipitation team (E. Hilgendorf, L. Grasso, and B. Motta) met with Rod Scofield, December 10, at COMET to discuss joint efforts to produce a satellite-based precipitation product.
    • D. Molenar and J. Weaver participated in a conference call led by Dr. Stephen Smith of the NWS Technique Development Laboratory in early December to discuss the development, testing and implementation of automated, satellite based thunderstorm identification and tracking algorithms in the System for Convection Analysis and Nowcasting (SCAN) being developed as part of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).   Other participants included staff from NSSL.  It was agreed that NSSL staff would complete experimental software to track continental thunderstorm anvils, and deliver the software the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team for testing during the upcoming convective season.
    • L. Grasso attended a meeting with J. Purdom and members of the NOAA/FSL in Boulder November 25 to discuss how modeling centers under NOAA can work together over the next five years and how GOES sounder data can be effectively used in numerical models.
    • G. Campbell participated in a review of the GOES Rescue project proposed by the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in mid-November.  This rescue project may provide the opportunity for review of special weather events of the past 20 years.
    • D. Hillger participated in the CIRA Advisory Council Meeting November 14.  The Advisory Council heard reports on research, collaborations, and science results, as well as plans for the 1998 CIRA Board Meeting and External Review scheduled for April 1998.
    • D. Hillger participated in the NWS Annual GOES Assessment Meeting held in Silver Spring, MD, November 6 and 7.  Examples of CIRA/RAMM Team contributions to GOES Assessment were presented.  A report highlighting and summarizing the results of the Assessment Meeting will be forthcoming from NWS.  The report may consist heavily of Web-based materials from each of the contributing organizations.
    • D. Molenar met with Dr. James Purdom of the NESDIS/ORA and Tony Mostek of COMET in mid-October to discuss CIRA activities for the new Virtual Institute for Satellite Integrated Training program (VISIT) program.   Activities will focus on the use of CIRA web-based training tools to present training on the interpretation and utilization of digital satellite data in a virtual environment.
    • L. Grasso presented a talk on GOES Assessment work at CIRA at the Collaborative Science Technology and Applied Research (CSTAR) meeting in Silver Springs, MD on October 8.

    Visitors:

    • RAMM Team members participated in a demonstration on 4 Dec 97 for a member of U.S. Representative Dan Schaefer’s staff.  The demo was in conjunction with funding received by CIRA for the Center for Geosciences.  Highlights of the demo included several of the RAMM Team RAMSDIS applications, the WMO/RMTC interaction, and the automatic generation of RAMSDIS Online products.
    • Von Woods of the National Weather Service (NWS) in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dennis Cain of the NWS in San Joaquin, California CIRA, December 7 for a demonstration of the RAMSDIS satellite climatology efforts.  Von already has the satellite climatology programs and was looking for more information on accessing the data and tailoring climatology to their region.  Dennis expressed interested in obtaining the climatology programs to initiate a fog climatology for his region of the country.
    • Jaime Daniels of the Forecast Products Development Team visited the (RAMM Team on December 4 to discuss a cooperative effort to include RAMM-developed software into operational sounding product generation.  Jaime also learned about several of the RAMSDIS  and the automatic generation of RAMSDIS Online products.
    • Vilma Castro from the Regional Meteorological Training Center in Costa Rica visited the CIRA during the week of November 3-7 to review progress over the past year and discuss objectives and goals for the coming year.  The RMTC in Costa Rica has two RAMSDIS systems for Ingest of real time GOES imagery and for Research on case studies and product development.  The main topics discussed included the satellite climatology project, which has compiled nearly a complete year of data, methods to increase the ingest of data during the day when internet traffic is heavy, troubleshooting on the RAMSDIS systems,  and plans for a satellite meteorology workshop that will take place in Costa Rica in 1999.  Vilma also met with various CIRA staff to become more familiar with their work.
    • Dr. Stephan Smith of the NWS Techniques Development Laboratory visited CIRA on November 4.   Dr. Smith gave a presentation on the System for Convection Analysis and Nowcasting (SCAN) being developed as part of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).   Dr. Smith also spent time reviewing CIRA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite product development, and discussed possible areas where CIRA research products could be incorporated into SCAN.
    • Jim McCracken of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Metric Program office in Gaithersburg MD visited D. Hillger as part of a trip to bring NIST Metric Program’s exhibit to Denver Oct. 2-5 for the Society of Professional Journalists’ convention.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER and TRAINING


  • Virtual Lab

    Virtual Lab (Phillips, Weaver, Zehr, Watson)

    • A large data set, with a brief accompanying description, was placed onto the RAMM Team’s virtual laboratory (http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/vlab/virlabhp.htm) this quarter.  The data were collected on 16 Jan 1997 over the Great Lakes during a moderately intense lake effect snow event.  The data set includes several hours worth of SRSO (1-minute interval) special collection, and is available free of charge via FTP from this site.
  • Picture of the Day

    Picture of the Day (Dostalek, Staff)

  • Tutorials

    Tutorials (Phillips, Dostalek, Hilgendorf, Motta, Weaver)

    • Significant progress was made in the development of the Team’s “Advanced GOES Image Analysis” tutorial.  All but one of the intended sections have been written up and integrated into the module, along with the associated example imagery.  It is expected that the in-house review of the tutorial will be completed early next quarter and that the recommended changes will be implemented by the mid-point of that period.  When this is done, outside evaluation will be sought from some of our respected peers.
    • In the interest of assuring the most effective, and easy, method for distributing the Team’s computer-based tutorials, the “GOES-8 Sounder”, the “Introduction to GOES-8″, the “GOES 3.9 µm Channel” and the “Advanced GOES Image Analysis” tutorials were all loaded onto a CD-ROM disc.  All the modules were able to execute from the CD-ROM on a variety of office and home PCs, running several versions of WINDOWS (e.g., NT, WIN95 and WINOS2).  This seems to be a promising means for distributing applications, especially when considering the tremendous volume of the files involved and the related time penalties paid when this is done over the internet.  It also eliminates the need to tamper with individual system’s operating system files since those required are already on the CD-ROM, in their expected form.
  • RAMSDIS

    RAMSDIS (Molenar, Connell, Dostalek, Gosden, Smith, Hillger)

    • A standard RAMSDIS-OS2 5.0 upgrade is now complete.  The primary upgrade featured implementing the McIDAS 7.2 along with more usage of the Abstract Distributed Data Environment compliant commands to create a local data environment.  These implementations improved the data retrieval process on the RAMSDIS and allowed a software update on the data servers.  An additional upgrade for the Special RAMSDIS configuration and the sites that have their RAMSDIS configured differently is now underway. Plans to distribute the upgrade to all the RAMSDIS sites are now being implemented.  We plan to have all our sites upgraded with this new RAMSDIS release by the end of February.
    • New software was developed to aid in tropical cyclone studies.  The programs are as follows: High Density Wind Profiles: MEANHDW uses 1 degree grids of u and v winds created from high density MD wind files to produce a vertical profile of average winds.  Average Winds on Radius – AVN Model: RADAVN calculates the average wind on the perimeter of a circle centered at the cursor.  These averages are produced for each reporting level within the Aviation Model.  Average Winds on Radius – High Density Winds: RADHDW is the same as RADAVN except RADHDW uses u and v grids produced from high density MD wind files.
    • A new CIRA member, Todd Smith, is now being trained on RAMSDIS architecture, applications, development, and troubleshooting techniques.  He will eventually be the primary first line RAMSDIS troubleshooting consultant for CIRA/RAMM.
    • Work has continued on the design and implementation of a version of NESDIS Synoptic Analysis Branch (SAB) RAMSDIS.  This is a major upgrade to their present design, and uses many of the Tropical RAMSDIS ingest and display routines.
  • VISIT

    VISIT (Motta, Winston)

    • Nothing to report this quarter
  • COMET

    COMET (Weaver, Dostalek, Hillger, Molenar, Zehr)

    • J. Dostalek, T. Smith, D. Watson, D. Hillger, J.  Weaver,  R. Zehr and B. Motta made presentations and held workshops at the December 1-11 and October 27-November 6 COMET-sponsored Satellite Meteorology courses in Boulder.
    • Prepared/obtained updated information about AWIPS satellite products and capabilities for use in an evaluation and demonstration of current capabilities and limitations.   Two COMET SatMet presentations were given with information obtained from FSL, NWS WFO Dodge City, NWS WFO Denver, NWS WR SSD, and NWS OM.
    • Provided input for a preliminary version of a training module for the African Satellite Meteorological Education and Training program.  This work is in coordination with Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training and the Regional Meteorological Training Centers in Niger and Kenya.
  • RMTC/WMO

    RMTC/WMO  (Connell, Vaughn)

    • The hard drive on the Costa Rica Ingest RAMSDIS system crashed again.  After obtaining a replacement drive, reloading the system, and making adjustments to ease the ingest of imagery during the day, Vilma returned to Costa Rica with a replacement hard drive for the Ingest RAMSDIS system.
    • The collection and archival of the hourly visible, 3.9, 6.7 and 10.7 micrometer imagery for developing climatologies in Costa Rica continues.  The night transfer of the imagery via the internet continues to supplement the poor data ingest during the day due to heavy internet traffic.  Grid/model data retrieved at CIRA from the NESDIS server are also now being sent via the internet to Costa Rica
    • Example average images and products derived from the monthly imagery.  (Click on images for full size display)

    • Carol Vaughn interacted with the Barbados RMTC to prepare for a seminar held  December 11-12, 1997 at the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI).  Meteorologists from the region presented their research work.
    • A data CD was sent to Barbados containing imagery from August 4, 1997, a time in which heavy rainfall and strong winds were experienced on the island.  Data were analyzed concurrently, using McIDAS applications programs, towards the goal of  improving general satellite analysis skills at the Barbados RMTC.
  • Training Given

    Training Given (Fryer)

    • See COMET and RESEARCH (Outside Interaction – Miscellaneous)
  • Training Received

    Training Received (Fryer)

    • B. Motta attended the COMET Mesoscale Satellite Meteorology Course, December 1-11.
    • D. Hillger attended a Fred Pryor seminar on November 12 titled ‘How to Manage Multiple Projects, Meet Deadlines, and Achieve Objectives.’  The material presented was helpful in seeing different ways to prioritize the projects we have to do, showing that the longer term goals are generally more important that just focusing on the short term, and that goal setting and prioritizing our projects maximizes the benefits to us individually and to the organization or team for which we work..
    • L. Grasso attended the COMET Satellite Meteorology Course, October 28-November 6.
  • RAMSDIS Online

    RAMSDIS Online (Watson)

    • RAMSDIS Online has been updated to now include both GOES-8 (Eastern USA) and GOES-9 (Western USA) selectable sectors.  Also added is a ‘More Info’ button for each product available.  This gives the user a basic understanding of what they are seeing in the image loops and how the product is used. RAMSDIS Online will continue to serve as a training tool in the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Virtual Lab environment.  RAMSDIS Online will also be demonstrated at the annual AMS conference in Phoenix, AZ. View the Web page at http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/rmsdsol/main.html.
  • Publications

    Publications (Fryer)

    • Hillger, D.W., and P.J. Celone, 1997:  A GOES image quality analysis system for the NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Operations Control Center, NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 89, December, 32 pp.
    • Browning, P.A., J.F. Weaver, and B. Connell, 1997:  The Moberly, Missouri tornado of 4 July 1997.  Weather and Forecasting, 12(4), 915-927.
    • Dostalek, J.F., J.F. Weaver, J.F.W. Purdom, and K. Y. Winston, 1997:  Nighttime detection of low-level thunderstorm outflow using a GOES multi-spectral image product.  Weather and Forecasting, 12 (4), 947-950.
    • Wagenmaker, R., J.F. Weaver, and B. Connell, 1997: A satellite and sounding perspective of a sixty-three inch lake effect snow event.  National Weather Digest.

    Submitted:

    • Knaff, J., 1998:  Predicting summertime Caribbean pressure in early April. Weather and Forecasting.
    • Zehr, R.M., 1998:  Use of satellite data to assess vertical wind shear forcing on hurricane intensity change. Symposium on Research Foci of the U.S. Weather Research Program, AMS Annual Meeting, 11-16 January, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
    • Zehr, R.M., 1998: Vertical wind shear analysis with hurricanes. 52nd Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 27-30 January, Clearwater Beach, FL.
    • Zehr, R.M., 1998:  Vertical wind shear and tropical cyclone intensity. Symposium on Tropical Cyclone Intensity Change, AMS Annual Meeting, 11-16 January, Phoenix, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
    • Knaff, J., C. Landsea, A. Mestas-Nunez, and R. Pielke, Jr., 1998:  Atlantic basin hurricanes: Indices of climatic changes. Climate Change.
  • Seminars/Presentations
    • E. Hilgendorf gave a presentation at the Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) Workshop in Boulder, CO,  November 17 through 20.
    •  J. Weaver, R. Zehr, and B. Motta attended the National Weather Association 22nd Annual Meeting in Reno, NV, October 20-24.  J. Weaver’s presentation focused on severe weather forecast and warning applications of GOES satellite imagery.   R. Zehr’s presented detailed tropical cyclone applications of GOES imagery including Super Rapid Scan Operation/Rapid Scan Operation (SRSO) data sets from Hurricanes Danny and Luis.   B. Motta’s presentation was  entitled “The Jarrell Tornado Outbreak: A Meteorological Perspective.”
    • J. Weaver gave public information talks to the Fort Collins Kiwanis Early Bird Club and the Northern Colorado Surveyor’s Association this quarter.
    • J. Weaver gave the keynote address at the COMET 1997 High Plains and Intermountain Operational Winter Weather Workshop on October 1.
    • L. Grasso presented a talk on GOES Assessment work at CIRA at the Collaborative Science Technology and Applied Research (CSTAR) meeting in Silver Springs, MD on October 8.
    • R. Zehr presented a lecture on October 8 on satellite applications on tropical cyclone analysis for a Colorado State University Atmospheric Science course in Tropical Meteorology.

INFRASTRUCTURE


  • Systems Administration

    Systems Administration (Molenar, Gosden)

    • A new NT system that’s going to serve as a GOES-10 data archive machine has been configured, and our two other NT systems that serve as GOES-8 and GOES-9 data archive has been updated with the current version of the Microsoft NT 4.0.
    • A new weekly and monthly system backup plan has been implemented on the HP-UNIX workstations.
  • Data Infrastructure

    Data Infrastructure (Watson, Smith)

    • Nothing to report  this quarter
  • Adminsitration

    Administration (Molenar, Fryer, Grasso, Phillips)

    • Nothing to report  this quarter
  • Hardware/Software

    Hardware/Software (Gosden, Smith, Watson, Molenar)

    • The RAMM Imagery Database is now fully operational.  Contained within the RAMM Imagery Database are: The Tape Archive Database, the RAMGIF Image Storehouse, and the AVI Loop Viewer.  All of the information for the Tape Archive Database is now up-to-date and the sample images for each case are in the process of being added.  The RAMGIF Storehouse is up-to-date and fully functional.  The AVI Loop Viewer is fully functional but as of now contains only two loops, more loops will be added as they become available.  A student from the work-study program has been trained in data entry and data retrieval on this database in order to obtain sample images for the Tape Archive Database.

FUTURE SYSTEMS and SENSORS


TRAVEL


  • RAMM Team Travel

      Travel (Fryer)

     

    Team Member
    Destination
     Purpose
    Funding 
    Dates
      Gosden, H.   Madison, WI    McIDAS Users Group Meeting 
    GIMPAP
    10/6 to 8 
      Grasso, L.   Washington, DC    CSTAR Meeting 
    NWS
    10/7 to 9 
      Weaver, J.   Reno, NV    NWA Annual Meeting 
    GIMPAP
    10/20 to 24 
      Motta, B.   Reno, NV    NWA Annual Meeting 
    FIRSTT
    10/19 to 24 
      Zehr, R.   Reno, NV    NWA Annual Meeting 
    GIMPAP
    10/21 to 23 
      Grasso, L.   Boulder, CO    Satellite Meteorology Class, COMET 
    GIMPAP
    11/3 to 7 
      Hillger, D.   Washington, DC   GOES Assessment Meeting 
    NWS/GIMPAP
    11/5 to 7 
      Hilgendorf, E.   Boulder, CO    QPE Meeting 
    GIMPAP
    11/17 to 20