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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 1st Quarter FY02

Applications Development

  • GOES Product Improvement and Development


    The software to generate both the shortwave albedo and day/night visible/shortwave albedo products has been updated to include calibration coefficients for GOES-12.  Because of changes in the GVAR stream starting with GOES-12 the software had to be modified more significantly than previous upgrades such as for GOES-11 where there was no change in the GVAR.  Calibration data for the upgrade were obtained from the Office of Satellite Operations GOES Calibration website.

  • Precipitation


    L. Grasso utilized radiation code supplied by T. Greenwald (CIRA) to simulate a GOES IR Channel-4 image of a thunderstorm.  Resulting brightness temperatures are designed for use in the NESDIS Hydrology Team’s Rainfall AutoEstimator. The loop below shows the simulated channel 4 brightness temperatures from the model prediction.  This work is a joint effort with R. Kuligowski from NESDIS/ORA.

  • Climatology

    Connell, Combs

    Processing of the U.S. climatologies continues on schedule.  Products completed include monthly large sector composites for September, October and November 2001, and wind regime composites for August, September and October 2001.  Monthly wind regime composites covering the past four years has been completed for August and September 2001.

    C. Combs attended the AMS Satellite Conference October 15-18, 2001 in Madison, WI.  While there, she presented a poster on the Wakefield project entitled, “Wind Regime GOES Cloud Cover Composites for the Wakefield, VA County Warning Area.”

    C. Combs traveled to Cheyenne, WY with M. DeMaria to discuss a possible COMET project with William Parker, David Copley and Mike Weiland at the NWS office.  They are preparing a COMET proposal that will involve a wintertime climatology to help identify precursors for high wind and heavy snow events.

    The manuscript “High resolution GOES?8 visible and infrared cloud frequency composites over Northern Florida during the summers 1996-1999” by Connell, B.H., K. Gould, J.F.W. Purdom,  appears in the December 2001 issue of  Weather and Forecasting.

  • Lake Effect Snow

    Bikos, Weaver

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver are working with Tom Niziol (SOO at NWS Buffalo, NY) to develop a more advanced lake-effect snow teletraining session for the start of the 2002 season.  Any lake-effect snow cases that occur this season will be archived from the CIRA AWIPS workstation to use in the new teletraining session.


  • Mesoscale Modeling

    Grasso, Weaver

    Work on the first draft of an article that looks at initialization as a factor in subsequent thunderstorm intensity is underway.  Initial results show that relative updraft intensities tend to remain the same in the absence of outside influences.  The study will also look at the results of allowing the weaker storm of a pair to interact with a very small scale intensifying mechanism to learn whether the storm strengthens and remains strong following the interaction.  The article will be entitled, “Boundary Layer Forcing as a Factor in Thunderstorm Intensity” by J. Weaver and L. Grasso.

Outside Interaction

  • National Labs

    Knaff, Motta, Zehr

    El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecasts created by the Climatology and Persistence ENSO Model (Knaff and Landsea, 1997) will become a monthly contribution to the NOAA Climate Diagnostics Bulletin.  While this model was originally developed to provide a skill/no-skill baseline forecast for ENSO forecasts, in the last 4 years it has performed all of the dynamic and most of the statistical ENSO forecast models available in real-time.  As a result, this model has become operational.  Figure 5 shows the forecasts made using this model with data through 1 December 2001.

      Figure 5:  Time series of predicted sea surface temperature 
    anomalies (SSTA) for Niño-4, Niño-3.4, Niño-3, Niño-1+2 
    indices in °C and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) in 
    standardized deviations from the ENSO-CLIPER statistical 
    model.  The observed three-month average values are shown 
    as a thick line.  Three month average forecast values are the 
    thick line with horizontal bars, which indicates the adjusted 
    RMSE.  The anomalies are for the CPC standard base period 
    of 1971-2000 for the SSTs and 1951-80 for the SOI.  Forecast 
    last updated 1 December.  Click on image to enlarge.

    B. Motta was invited by Dr. Fritz Hasler of the NASA/GSFC to participate in building and presenting an E-theatre presentation segment using GOES-12 Science Test 1-minute satellite imagery of a severe weather outbreak.  We have identified a 1-minute sequence and will begin working on the presentation.  At least 17 people on the E-theatre team are interested and many derived/high-performance computing products will be possible. The goal is to complete initial visualizations and analyses by the next AMS Annual Meeting in January. The NASA Visualization and Analysis Laboratory has written scripts to read CIRA GOES GVAR files for development of a GOES-12 Science Test severe weather case with 1-minute imagery of tornadic storms.  This case was published on the Satellite Interpretation Discussion page at the CIRA/RAMM website.

    The new NASA E-theatre segment that NOAA/CIRA helped to develop was presented to two sold-out IMAX theatre audiences at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  The segment showed an anaglyph (red/green) stereo version of the GOES-12 Science Test 1-minute imagery of a  line of Tornadic Thunderstorms in Kansas and Nebraska on October 9, 2001.   The imagery filled 80 feet of their 90-footwide screen.

    NASA has also generated more GOES-12 Science Test Imagery for possible inclusion in the upcoming E-theatre presentations.  B. Motta requested that NOAA and CIRA logos be superimposed on the animation sequences when they are presented. This modification is in the works but has not yet been completed. Also, new (draft) examples of the 4km water vapor imagery for a tornadic storm case previously mentioned have been reviewed. Comments have been sent to NASA.

    Dr. Steve Goodman of NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center met with Brian Motta and Bard Zajac on Monday 29 October to discuss the utilization of AWIPS in a joint NASA-NWS field project. The field project is planned for spring 2002 over northern Alabama and adjacent areas. The project is unique for its inclusion of total lightning data (ground and cloud flashes) from a regional ground-based network.

  • Universities

    Zehr, Grasso, Weaver, Motta

    Daily Hurricane Briefings: The daily hurricane briefings ended in late October with the active part of the Atlantic hurricane season.  The discussions are held at 3pm in the CIRA Weather Lab, and are well attended by CIRA personnel, CSU students and faculty.  The goal is to present and discuss the current global tropical cyclone activity using Tropical RAMSDIS and forecasts readily available online.  Several CSU graduates contributed this year as first-time discussion leaders.

    J. Weaver continues work with Nolan Doesken (Colorado Climate Center, CSU) on a short paper for the Journal of Climate utilizing mesoscale precipitation data collected by volunteers within the Climate Center’s CoCo RAHS (Community Collaborative Rain and Hail Study) study area.  There are more than 100 volunteers measuring daily precipitation in and around the Fort Collins area.  The observers receive training and a 4” NWS style rain gauge to make their measurements.  The study will include comparison with satellite cloud climatology results produced by C. Combs (see Cloud Climatologies).

    D. Hillger continues to serve on the committee for CSU Master of Science candidate Tomoko Koyama.  Ms. Koyama finished a first draft of her MS Thesis and is awaiting reviews from her committee members.  The MS thesis is entitled “MODIS Thermal Emissive Band Error Estimation using Structure Function Analysis.”

  • Other NESDIS

    Molenar, Hillger, Motta

    The VISIT team continues interaction with R. Weldon from the NESDIS Forecast Products Development Team to collaborate on tropical cyclone training.   The effort is aimed at developing a new VISIT teletraining session on cyclogenesis basics.


  • NWS

    Weaver, Dostalek, Motta

    The following interactions between CIRA/RAMM researchers and NWS forecasters took place through various projects:  J. Dostalek and J. Weaver with Loren Phillips LBB (NWS), D. Bikos and J. Weaver with Tom Niziol Buffalo (NWS), J. Weaver with Bob Glancy Denver/Boulder (NWS), B. Zajac and J. Weaver with Steve Hodanish Pueblo (NWS), and the CIRA VISIT staff with the staff at the NWS/WTDB and at CIMSS.

    B. Motta presented a lecture at the winter weather warning decision-making workshop on model initialization issues and related topics. The presentation included a quiz highlighting popular misconceptions of initial forecasts and advantages of combining GOES imager and sounder data  in the evaluations of model analyses and forecasts.

    J. Weaver and B. Zajac gave presentations at both COMET Advanced WDM classes that were offered this quarter (October and December). Weaver delivered 1-½ hour talks on the use of satellite data.  He also gave a 45 minute informal luncheon presentation on the Fort Collins flood for the second. Zajac delivered one-hour talks on utilizing lightning data.

  • International Activities

    Connell, Dostalek, Knaff, Watson

    A master’s student in Peru, Octavio Fashe, who used GOES data in his research and sought help from CIRA has been awarded a prize from his country for his thesis work.  In addition to the prize money ($440), the award recognized the work of young researchers.  Information about the award is available in Spanish on the website:

    Figure 7.  Photo of Octavio Fashe and some of his friends.
    Click on image to enlarge.

    Brazil Project:

    Updates to RAMSDIS software were implemented and sent to Brazil.  These updates were associated with the content of the text files which list information concerning possible fires as detected by GOES-8.

    RAMSDIS has been made available to several countries via CD’s.  Italy, India, Mexico, Australia, Costa Rica, and Barbados have requested the software.  The software is being distributed via a complete system image containing Windows 2000 and McIDAS 7.8.  This allows the software to be loaded with pre-configured settings.


    Japanese Interaction:

    A correspondence has begun with Mr. Kotaro Bessho from the JMA on the possibility of obtaining a visiting scientist position at CIRA. All of his expenses will be provided by JMA. Mr. Bessho is interested in developing tropical cyclone applications of AMSU data for the western Pacific tropical cyclone basin. If his visit is approved by JMA, he will begin work at CIRA in the fall of 2002.


    Mitch Reconstruction Project:

    The second part of the Installation and System Training trip was made in the month of October to Panama City, Panama, and Belize City, Belize.  The installation of the two RAMSDIS-NT systems per site and the training were successful.  The travel plans were postponed due to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

    The Data Server in Costa Rica was configured to host and serve the GOES Autoestimator Rainfall product.  The server is currently ingesting the product from the RAMSERVE2 server in Washington D.C.  The notice of the product availability will go out to the Central American countries in January.

    Paperwork for CIRA ownership transfer and NOAA documentation has been updated and resubmitted for all equipment installed at the Mitch sites.

    In support of the Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Project, Dr. Vilma Castro, RMTC Costa Rica, traveled to Panama to present training on the installation of the 2 RAMSDIS workstations.

    The second Mitch Training was held December 4-7 at the Regional Meteorological Training Center located at the University of Costa Rica.  There were 13 participants from the seven Central American Countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama).  Since the countries have already received their RAMSDIS systems, the training focused heavily on RAMSDIS functionality and hands-on activities.  Other topics included satellite based precipitation estimates, hydrological applications, GOES imagery interpretation, and detection of volcanic ash and fires.   A trip report can be found at:  and the agenda at:

    Figure 8.  Participants and Instructors attending the second Mitch training course.
    Click on image to enlarge.


    SICA Project:

    This project is funded by USAID through SICA (System of Integration for Central America).   Satellite rainfall and fire products can be found on the web at:

    Training materials were prepared for the 4-day training seminar held in Costa Rica December 4-7, 2001.  There were 13 participants from the 7 Central American Countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama).  B. Connell traveled to Costa Rica during this time to present various training materials.  (See MITCH Reconstruction Project for more details.)


    RMTC Project:

    GOES-8 imagery for September 2001 through November, 2001 were sent to the Regional Meteorological Training Centers (RMTCs) in Costa Rica and Barbados.  The archives are being used to look at cloud frequency during the rainy and dry seasons and detect local variations from year to year.

    Figure 9Monthly cloud frequency composites for September – November 1997-2001
    by 10.7 mm temperature threshold technique for Costa Rica.
    Click on image to enlarge.

    B. Connell traveled to Madison, WI in October, 2001 for the 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography to present a poster of research being done with the cloud frequency archives in Costa Rica.  The poster was entitled “Mesoscale satellite climatologies in Costa Rica” by B. Connell and V. Castro.  A paper was also included in the Preprint volume.

    Figure 10.  Comparison of cloud frequencies derived by temperature threshold of 10.7 um  imagery for September – November of 1998 – 2001 for Barbados.   The archived imagery also provides access to examples for use in satellite focused training efforts.

  • Miscellaneous


    J. Weaver finished the second review of a paper titled, “Synoptic Regulation of the 3 May 1999 Tornado Outbreak.”  The paper is scheduled to appear in the upcoming special issue of Weather and Forecasting that will be dedicated to the 3 May tornado outbreak.  The paper has now been accepted.

    J. Weaver reviewed a paper titled, “A car platform for the measurement of föhn and gap flows” by Georg Mayr et al. for the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.


    Traveler(s) Destination Meetings/Conferences
    Trip Reports
    M. DeMaria
    R. Zehr
    D. Hillger
    B. Connell
    D. Bikos
    B. Motta
    C. Combs
    B. Zajac
    R. Alfaro
    Madison, WI
    AMS 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography
    Hillger Report
    Zehr Report
    M. DeMaria Honolulu, HI RPI Best Track Workshop RPI 11/26-27
    Trip Report


    Date of 
    Affiliation RAMMT Contact
    Steve Goodman 10/30/01 NASA M. DeMaria
    Frank Marks 10/31/01 HRD M. DeMaria
    Jeff Hawkins 11/15/01 NRL M. DeMaria

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)


    The beta version of the CIRA International Virtual Web Site was launched at the end of November, 2001.  See:
    (Note:  It is best to utilize Internet explorer for accessing this URL).  The virtual lab is being established to foster the international exchange of satellite data and training material.   From the CIRA site, users can view real-time data and products, and access training materials, digital data and training tools.

    Figure 1.  Opening page from the CIRA international virtual web site.

Field Experiments

  • HRD and CAMEX

    Gosden, Knaff, Watson, Zehr

    Funding for CIRA and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) in Miami was approved by NESDIS for a project to send real-time GOES data to the NOAA WP-3D research aircraft.  CIRA’s role is to apply advanced data compression and decompression techniques developed by Forecast Systems Laboratory to the satellite data, and to select the satellite channels and sectors to be sent to the aircraft.  The satellite data compression/decompression software will be installed on operational computer systems at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and on the P-3 aircraft.  The first real-time test is planned for the 2002 hurricane season.


  • GOES Science Tests

    Hillger, Knaff, Weaver

    NOAA Science Tests for the GOES-12 Imager and Sounder were completed on October 27.  A schedule of the tests that were performed each day of the five weeks is available on the GOES-12 Science Test website:

    GOES-12 continued to transmit GVAR data through mid-December when it was turned off and placed into storage.

    Noise levels for the 18 infrared bands of the GOES-12 Sounder were estimated using spatial structure analysis on half-hourly space-view measurements acquired for a 24-hour period starting on 16 October 2001 during the NOAA Science Tests.  The results agree very well with noise levels determined independently at CIMSS on Sounder data acquired on another Science Test day.  See:

    The final draft of a report on the GOES-11 Science Tests was edited together with Co-editors Jaime Daniels and Tim Schmit.  The report was published as NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 103.

  • Brazil Fire Project

    Connell, Gosden, Dostalek

    System troubleshooting support was offered to Raffi Agop of INPE in San Jose dos Compos, Brazil.  The RAMSDIS-OS/2 system had stopped ingesting data in mid-November.  The troubleshooting efforts revealed that the McIDAS software configuration was modified, and that it needed to be reinitialized.  Once the re-initialization of the software took place, the RAMSDIS system resumed its automatic ingest of the satellite data.


Technology Transfer and Training

  • Web Pages

    DeMaria, Gosden, Dostalek

    D. Bikos updated many of the VISIT web pages to produce the web-based versions of four teletraining sessions that  came out this quarter.  Web-based versions for all VISIT training sessions can be found at:
    The links will lead to a page that offers a download of the actual session, or the web-based version.

    J. Weaver, D. Bikos and B. Zajac created talking points for two of the web-based VISIT sessions:  Lightning Meteorology-I and Mesoscale Analysis of Convective Weather using GOES RSO Imagery.

    The following web pages are still available:

    Hurricane Mitch:
    Wakefield Wind Climatology:
    Temporal and Spectral Differences of Water Vapor Radiances:


  • Virtual Lab

    Gosden, Zehr, Watson

    Full-disk GOES-8 and GOES-10 imagery was sent to Ryoji Kumabe of the Japanese Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC), to help develop a GOES converter.  This conversion will help MSC incorporate GOES imagery into training sessions, in conjunction with the International Virtual Lab being developed at CIRA and other locations.

  • Satellite Interpretation Discussion


    Jack Dostalek wrote a satellite interpretation discussion of splitting thunderstorms.  This presentation can be found at:

    Don Hillger wrote a satellite interpretation discussion on changes to the imager on the GOES-12 satellite.  This presentation can be found at:

    Dan Bikos, J. Weaver, and John Knaff developed a detailed discussion of GOES-12 Super Rapid Scan Operations during the October 9, 2001 Great Plains tornado event.  The presentation can be found at:



    Molenar, Connell, Dostalek, Gosden, Hillger

    For the second consecutive year, all Tropical RAMSDIS images were saved to CD during the active part of the hurricane season.  This work was done with the assistance of CIRA hourly, Matt McClurg. Tropical RAMSDIS use continues following the 2001 hurricane season, with analysis, and IR data archiving with Southern Hemisphere and western North Pacific tropical cyclones.  The HRD Tropical RAMSDIS use continued for this hurricane season, and was reported to be very reliable and useful.  It is used at HRD for fieldwork and aircraft mission planning and coordination, as well as daily briefings.

  • AWIPS Development/FSL Interaction

    Molenar, Bikos

    The upgrade from D2D 4.2.4 to 5.0 on the CIRA experimental AWIPS real-time ingest workstation was not successful due to software incompatibilities with the CIRA ingest.  D2D 5.0 will be installed on the CIRA case study workstations, and planning for future ingest migration to Linux is underway.

    D. Molenar and D. Bikos worked with Kevin Schrab (NWS Western Region HQ) to ingest real-time GOES winds data into the AWIPS workstation.  The GOES wind data will enable D. Bikos and J. Weaver to develop a VISIT teletraining session on applications of GOES derived winds, as well as enhance other VISIT teletraining cases with the data.

    B. Motta and D. Bikos successfully installed the Weather Event Simulator (WES) on the Linux based D2D workstation.  The WES allows the user to go through a case study in “displaced real time”, meaning the clock in D2D is set to the case study date/time and products become available as time advances.  The simulator is a new component of the NWS training program and will be used by forecasters to develop skills and experience with high-impact weather events.  Many offices are just now beginning to install the simulator and teletraining sessions are expected to become available in several weeks.


    Motta, Bikos, Zajac, Weaver, Zehr

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver have been developing two new VISIT teletraining sessions during this quarter: 1) Applications of GOES derived winds, and 2)  Cyclogenesis:  Analysis using GOES water vapor imagery (B. Motta, Roger Weldon and Toby Carlson are co-authors on this session).

    B. Motta reviewed a beta version of a new teletraining session titled “Introduction to POES” by Dr. Stan Kidder.  The session covers the orbits, instruments, and some products available from POES and DMSP satellites.  Dr. Kidder taught the first two sessions this quarter.

    Final edits of the long-anticipated dProg/dt teletraining lesson were completed.  There is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the training clearly and completely covers a very valuable technique for using observed and forecast model trends to make better forecasts. The bad news is that AWIPS does not contain all of the necessary information required to properly use model trends generated by using AWIPS’ dprog/dt load mode functionality.

    “Lightning Meteorology I: Electrification and Lightning Activity by Storm Scale” continues to be offered.  B. Zajac and J. Weaver presented the teletraining session to 17 forecasters from 5 NWS WFOs.

    “Lightning Meteorology II: Anomalous Storms and Advanced Theory” has been thoroughly reviewed and is ready for presentation to NWS forecasters. The teletraining session will be presented 3 times in January and again in the following months. A beta test of the session was presented in late November and was attended by 8 forecasters from 3 NWS WFOs along with several VISIT team members.  Reviews from the beta test have been incorporated into the latest version.

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver delivered 3 teletraining sessions on “Mesoscale analysis of convective weather using GOES RSO imagery.”  Participants included 30 forecasters from 8 NWS offices.  This session will be offered more often as the upcoming severe weather season approaches.

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver delivered 4 teletraining sessions on “Lake-effect snow.”  One hundred and two participants from 21 NWS offices and one university attended these sessions.

    J. Weaver presented one session on the use of the Natural Disaster Information Cards.  The session had 14 participants, including the Warning Coordination Meteorologist from Midland, Texas, the Emergency Manager from Midland-Odessa, and 12 dispatch supervisors.  The evaluations received have been very positive.  For example, one dispatch supervisor described the session as “one of the best, most relevant weather training courses she has ever taken.”

    On November 29 a VISIT “Using AWIPS to Evaluate Model Initializations” teletraining session was conducted with 8 students from 3 NWS offices.

    CIRA/RAMM team members attended a VISIT project team meeting in Madison WI at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center.  Among the items covered were the feedback and metrics from teletraining sessions, drafts of Lightning Meteorology II and the recorded version of the GOES Sounder and Derived Products lessons, new proposals for training and a conference call discussing the implementation of the National Weather Service Interactive Forecast Preparation System (IFPS) and related training issues.

    The procedures for implementing VISIT recorded lessons were reviewed in a conference call with the VISIT team. The recorded sessions will have a 3-phase approach related to the implementation of manual processes, web-server software to partially automate the process, and the mostly-automated Learning Management System phase. There will be two initial releases of recorded sessions. The topics are 1) Forecasting Winter Precipitation Type and 2) GOES Sounder Data and Products. Forecasters at local NWS offices will work with their local training focal points to complete tests and obtain quizzes.

    A VISIT lesson on forecasting winter precipitation type had audio and annotations recorded by Dan Baumgardt (the NWS Science and Operations Officer in LaCrosse, WI).  CIRA reviewed this lesson and provided comments. Those changes have now been made and plans for NWS use of recorded sessions are now being finalized.

    During this quarter 34 VISIT teletraining sessions have been delivered; 591 students from 154 NWS offices participated.

    A training certificate of completion is sent out to all participants who return evaluations.  The following graph shows the total number of certificates issued since we started this in April 1999.

  • Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training (COMET)


    J. Weaver and B. Zajac gave presentations at both COMET Advanced WDM classes that were offered this quarter (October and December). Weaver delivered 1-½ hour talks on the use of satellite data.  He was also gave a 45 minute informal luncheon presentation on the Fort Collins flood for the second. Zajac delivered one-hour talks on utilizing lightning data.


  • Community Outreach

    Weaver, Knaff, Connell

    J. Weaver’s duties as the NOAA representative to the City of Fort Collins Office of Emergency Management will come to an end next quarter, as the Glenn Levy (current emergency manager) relinquishes his post and goes back on shift as a battalion chief with the Fort Collins fire department.  Many of the low maintenance changes that Glenn implemented will remain in place, but lacking new natural disasters, the city seems satisfied with a minimal effort approach at this time.

    B. Connell gave a presentation to kindergarten and 1st grade students at Garfield Elementary School in Loveland, Colorado on October 12, 2001.  She was a satellite meteorologist for their career day activities.

    On October 12, J. Weaver and B. Zajac gave an invited encore presentation on thunderstorm electrification to a group of about twenty individuals at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver.

  • Publications



    Combs, C., 2001: Wind Regime Cloud Cover Composites of Convective Development over the Wakefield, VA Region.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Connell, B.H., V. Castro, 2001: The use of mesoscale climatologies for monitoring and forecasting weather in Costa Rica.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Connell, B.H., K. Gould, J.F.W. Purdom, 2001: High resolution GOES-8 visible and infrared cloud frequency composites over Northern Florida during the summers 1996-1999. Weather and Forecasting16, 713-724.

    DeMaria, M., J. Demuth, J.A. Knaff, 2001: Validation of an Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit (AMSU) tropical cyclone intensity and size estimation algorithm.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 300-303.

    Dostalek, J.F., T.J. Schmit, 2001: Total Precipitable Water Measurements from GOES Sounder Derived
    Product Imagery. Weather and Forecasting16:5, 573–587.

    Hillger, D.W., J. Clark, 2001: Principal Component Image analysis of MODIS for volcanic ash. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 55-60.

    Hillger, D.W., J. Clark, 2001: Simulation of GOES-M 5-band imager using MODIS data. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 600-603.

    Kidder, S.Q., S.J. Kusselson, J.A. Knaff, R.J. Kuligowski, 2001:  Improvements to the experimental tropical rainfall potential (TraP) technique.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 375-378.

    Koyama, T., D.W. Hillger, and T.H. Vonder Haar, 2001: MODIS statistical structure function analysis, 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 596-599.

    Mostek, A., S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, D. Bikos, B. MottaB. Zajac, K. Schrab. B. Grant, J. LaDue, 2001:  Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training Bringing Training to the Forecasters Using VISITView.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 328-331.

    Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, J.F. Weaver, R.M. Zehr, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, R. Grumm, D. Baumgardt, S. Jascourt, B.B. Bua, 2001: Recent Training and Results from the Virutal Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 332-335.

    Nolan, D.S., M.T. Montgomery, L.D. Grasso, 2001: The wavenumber one instability and trochoidal motion of hurricane-like vortices. J. Atmos. Sci.58, 3243-3270.

    Weaver, J.F.J.A. Knaff, J.M. Daniels, G.S. Wade, 2001:  Observations of a severe supercell thunderstorm on 24 July using GOES-11 sounder and imagery.  11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 397-401.

    Zehr, R.M., 2001: Tropical Cyclone Surface Wind Analysis Using Satellite Sensors. 11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 15-18 October, Madison, WI, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 296-299.

    To Submitted


    Bikos, D.E., J.F. Weaver, B.C. Motta, 2001: A satellite perspective of the 3 May 1999 Great Plains Tornado Outbreak.  Weather and Forecasting.

    Campbell, G.G. and J.F.W. Purdom, 2001: Asynchronous stereo height and motion retrieval from satellite observations. J. of Atmos. and Oceanic Technology.

    Chase, T.N., J.A. Knaff, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2001: Changes in global monsoon circulations: Evidence for a diminishing hydrological cycle? Int. J. Climatol.

    Ellrod, G., B.H. Connell, D.W. Hillger, 2001: Improved detection of airborne volcanic ash using multi-spectral infrared satellite data. J. Geophys. Res.

    Kidder, S.Q., D.W. Hillger, A.J. Mostek, K.J. Schrab, 2001:  Two simple GOES imager products for improved weather analysis and forecasting, National Weather Digest.

    Pielke, R.A., T.N. Chase, T.G.F. Kittel, J.A. Knaff, and J. Eastman, 2001: Analysis of 200 mb zonal wind for the period
    1958-1997. J. Geophysical Research.

    Weaver, J.F., J.A. Knaff, D.E. Bikos, G. Wade, J.M. Daniels, 2001: Satellite observations of a severe supercell
    thunderstorm on 24 July 2000 taken during the GOES-11 Science Test. Weather and Forecasting.


    Back to the top

    DeMaria, M.R.M. Zehr, J.P. Kossin, J.A. Knaff, 2002:  The Use of GOES Imagery in Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction, 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 29 April-3 May 2002, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Grasso, L.D., 2001:  The dependence of thunderstorm evolution on the initial convective trigger.  Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

    Grasso, L.D., 2001: Simulation of a left moving cell following storm splitting. Mon. Wea. Rev.

    Hillger, D.W., G.P. Ellrod, 2002:  Detection of Important Atmospheric and Surface Features by Employing Principal Component Image Transformation of GOES Imagery.  Journal of Applied Meteorology.

    Motta, B.C., 2002:  VISIT Integrated Sensor Training: Using AWIPS Satellite Products and Capabilities.  AWIPS Symposium at the AMS Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2002 in Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Mostek, A., S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, D. BikosB. MottaB. ZajacJ. Weaver, K. Schrab, B. Grant, J. LaDue, 2002: Bringing Training to the Forecasters Using VISITView- Review of Program Since 1999. AWIPS Symposium at the AMS Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2002 in Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Zajac, B.A., 2002:  An Overview of Lightning Training from NWS/VISIT: 1999-2001.
    18th Conference on IIPS at the AMS Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2002 in Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Zajac, B.A., J.F. Weaver, 2002:  Lightning Meteorology I: An Introductory Course on Forecasting with Lightning Data.  AWIPS Symposium at the AMS Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2002 in Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Zehr, R.M., 2002:  Vertical Wind Shear Characteristics with Atlantic Hurricanes During 2001.  25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 29 April-3 May 2002, San Diego, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

  • Training



    Participant Dates Place Course
    D. Hillger   December 3 and 5 Colorado State University 
    Computer Training and Support Services 
    Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software 
    K. Fryer  November 6 Colorado State University 
    Computer Training and Support Services 
    Dreamweaver Basics


  • RAMMT/CIRA Internal Presentations


    Date  Presentor    Topic 
    November 6
    Mark DeMaria
    William Gray
    USWRP Congressional Briefings on Hurricanes at Landfall
     November 15
    Jeffrey Hawkins Tropical Cyclone Structure Via Multiple Passive Microwave Satellite
     November 28
    James Kossin Daily Hurricane Variability Inferred from GOES Infrared Imagery


  • Systems Administration

    Molenar, Gosden

    Reconfiguration and disk space additions are underway for the older RAMM Team HP workstations to facilitate the growing utilization of the workstations.

    Some of the Windows workstations suffered a significant slowdown in performance when using the McIDAS software, and an effort to troubleshoot the problems followed.  The performance tests indicated a lack of memory on one machine and a slow performance of a graphic card on another.  When each of those systems was remedied with more memory and a new graphic card, respectively, the performance improved, but only slightly.  When the operating system configuration was checked, three different configurations for the Hardware Allocation Layer (HAL) were noted.  When we matched each of those HAL configurations to the specific machines, the problem was solved.  All the RAMM team windows systems will be updated to the current BIOS to match the proper HAL configuration

    B. Motta installed all of the latest updates and patches for Redhat Linux 7.0 on the VISIT NWS Weather Event Simulator computer. There were several updates for security flaws and improved versions of services and libraries. One hardware consideration for those who may want to run the weather simulator: our computer has an nVIDIA graphics card which causes some AWIPS D2D software displays to not show overlays when “zooming-in” on some displays.  This problem is being investigated and may result in the purchase of a Matrox video card that would also allow dual-monitor functionality.

    B. Motta met with M. Fasler to add additional security to CIRA’s NWS Weather Event Simulator Linux computer. A firewall and additional obstacles were put in place to thwart attempts by would-be hackers to compromise the system. These additional layers of security add to what was already a very secure machine.

  • Hardware/Software

    Gosden, Watson, Molenar

    Some troubleshooting was done on the cause of some McIDAS/Windows 2000 systems being very slow.  The cause seems to be traced to how the systems were set up.  These systems were set up with a system image that had different hardware and bios settings.  These configurations could not be changed using the plug-n-play process and therefore must be set during the installation process.  Future systems will need to be installed individually or they must use a correct image for each hardware type.

    A hardware support call was placed to Hewlett-Packard to repair the power-source damages sustained on the HP-9000 J210 Workstation.  The support-technician arrived with the new power supply and exchanged the power supply unit.  The system is now up and running.

    New workstations have been ordered as the first phase of the Team desktop and lab computer system upgrades.  The upgrade plan includes the migration of all lab and field systems from RAMSDIS – OS/2 to RAMSDIS-2000.

    McIDAS 7.802 has been installed on all RAMM HP workstations to facilitate GOES-12 checkout and MODIS data research.

  • Administration

    DeMaria, Molenar, Grasso, Fryer

    End-of-year performance review meetings were held with all NOAA RAMM Team staff members.  FY01 and FY02 performance plans were sent to ARAD in November.  The RAMM Team OPTORAs were updated for FY02.

    A correspondence has begun with Mr. Kotaro Bessho from the JMA on the possibility of obtaining a visiting
    scientist position at CIRA. All of his expenses will be provided by JMA. Mr. Bessho is interested in
    developing tropical cyclone applications of AMSU data for the western Pacific tropical cyclone basin. If
    his visit is approved by JMA, he will begin work at CIRA in the fall of 2002.

    Proposal submissions:  Information was sent to NASA MSFC for inclusion in a proposal to develop applications for a lightning mapper on a geostationary satellite.  CIRA’s role will be focused on tropical applications.


  • Travel



    Team Member
    M. DeMaria Washington, DC GIMPAP Review GIMPAP 10/10 & 11
    M. DeMaria
    D. Hillger
    R. Zehr
    B. Connell
    C. Combs
    D. Bikos
    B. Motta
    B. Zajac
    R. Alfaro
    Madison, WI 11th AMS Satellite Meteorology Conference GIMPAP 10/15-19
    H. Gosden
    V. Castro
    Panama & Belize RAMSDIS Installations and Training MITCH/RMTC 10/16-24
    D. Molenar Madison, WI McIDAS Users Meeting BASE 10/18 & 19
    B. Motta
    B. Zajac
    D. Bikos
    Madison, WI IST/VISIT Meeting VISIT 10/19
    M. DeMaria Honolulu, HI NWPAC Workshop RPI 11/26 & 27
    B. Connell
    R. Alfaro
    San Jose, Costa Rica RMTC Training SICA

  • List of Acronyms


    AMS:  American Meteorological Society

    AMSU:  Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit

    ARAD:  Atmospheric Research and Applications Division

    AWIPS: Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System

    CAMEX:  Convection and Moisture Experiment

    CG: Cloud to Ground

    CIMSS: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies

    CIRA: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

    COMET: Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training

    CONUS: Continental U.S.

    CRAD:  Climate Research and Applications Division

    CSU:  Colorado State University

    EUMETSAT:  European Meteorological Satellite

    FEMA:  Federal Emergency Management Agency

    FTP: File Transfer Protocol

    GIMPAP: Goes I-M Product Assurance Plan

    GOES: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

    HRD:  Hurricane Research Division

    IR: Infrared

    LAPS: Local Analysis and Prediction System

    LES:  Lake Effect Snow

    McIDAS: Man Computer Interactive Data Access System

    MODIS:  Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

    NASA:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NCAR: National Center for Atmospheric Research

    NDIC: Natural Disaster Information Cards

    NESDIS: National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service

    NHC: National Hurricane Center

    NIDS: NEXRAD Information Dissemination Service

    NOAA:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    NWS: National Weather Service

    NWSFO: National Weather Service Forecast Office

    OM:  Office of Meteorology

    ORA:  Office of Research and Applications

    PACJET: Pacific Landfalling Jets Experiment

    POES: Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite

    POP: Product Oversight Panel

    RAMMT: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team

    RAMS:  Regional Atmospheric Modeling System

    RAMSDIS: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team Advanced Meteorological Satellite Demonstration and Interpretation System

    RMTC: Regional Meteorological Training Center

    ROL: RAMSDIS Online

    SAB: Satellite Applications Branch

    SOCC: Satellite Operations Control Center

    SOO: Science Operations Officer

    SRSO/RSO: Super Rapid Scan Operation/Rapid Scan Operation

    STEPS: Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Preciptation Study

    TPC: Tropical Prediction Center

    USWRP: United States Weather Research Program

    UTC:  Universal Time Coordinated

    VISIT: Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training

    WMO: World Meteorological Organization

    WV:  Water Vapor