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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 2nd Quarter FY01

Meteorological


  • Severe Storms

    Weaver, Dostalek, Grasso, Bikos, Coleman

    A paper entitled, “Left-moving thunderstorms in a high Plains, weakly-sheared environment,” by John Weaver (NOAA), Jack Dostalek (CIRA), and Loren Phillips (NWS) has been accepted for presentation at the 18th Conf.  on Weather Analysis and Forecasting in July 2001.

    An abstract entitled, “Observations of a Severe Supercell Thunderstorm on 24 July 2000 using GOES-11 Sounder and Imagery” by J. Weaver, J. Knaff, D. Bikos, J. Daniels (NESDIS), and G. Wade (CIMSS)  was submitted for presentation at the 11th Conf.  on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography to be held in October 2001.  This paper will also be submitted for publication in the Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., but new AMS policy dictates that submitting authors must submit a proposal first.  Such a proposal has been written and submitted.  An expanded discussion and new loops for this case have been added to:
    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/goes11/goes11_test/july24/july24.html

    A paper entitled “A Satellite Perspective of the 3 May 1999 Great Plains Tornado Outbreak” by Dan Bikos, John Weaver and Brian Motta was submitted for the special issue on the 3 May event in Weather and Forecasting.

    Development continues toward building an RSO data archive.  An EXCEL file listing satellite name, date and times of RSO, the location, agency and reason for the call, and what severe weather occurred during the collection is nearly complete.  The list begins with GOES-8 in November of 1996 and continues through October 2000.  There are over 600 dates listed so far.  A student hourly will begin working on transferring imager data from certain cases onto CD-ROM.  Case dates will be selecting by Weaver and Bikos.

    J. Weaver spent a day-and-a-half at COMET in Boulder preparing material for presentation at the next several Warning Decision Making classes.  He was asked to add a satellite component to the otherwise WSR88D-dominated world of severe thunderstorm nowcaster training (see COMET).

     

  • Tropical Cyclones

    DeMaria, Zehr, Knaff, Dostalek

    Case studies using animated GOES images along with “Best Track” data were used to investigate the genesis of the subtropical storm that later became Hurricane Michael (15-19 October 2000).  Comparisons were then made with the Unnamed Subtropical Storm that formed in about the same location less than two weeks later.  The transition period during which the subtropical storm became Tropical Storm Michael was compared with the Subtropical Storm that did not undergo transition.  Transition occurs when the upper low of a subtropical storm becomes vertically aligned with a low level cyclonic circulation of similar scale, and convection persists near the center.  Those cases are to be incorporated in the VISIT Training on Subtropical Cyclones.

    Characteristics of the 23 Intense (Category 3 or higher) Atlantic hurricanes since 1995, have been compiled using “Best Track,” aircraft, and satellite observations.  The data are listed and ranked in various categories of intensity, intensification rate, and size.  The objective of this research is to document the capabilities of objective IR intensity estimates, IR images, and AMSU data, in diagnosing tropical cyclone intensity and size changes. A poster with GOES enhanced IR images at maximum intensity has been updated.  Each of the 23 images is a Mercator remap centered on the hurricane.   This research was included in a presentation at the Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference.

    It has been shown that motion-relative GOES IR 6-hour average images provide good depictions of structure changes of hurricanes.  A new experimental image product is being evaluated, that is comprised of differences between consecutive motion-relative images.  An enhancement is used to highlight IR cloud areas that are cooling with time versus those that are warming.

    A project continues to archive IR images with tropical cyclones in a common format on CD-ROM.  Four km Mercator re-mapped images are saved at 30-minute intervals.  Five additional Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclones using GMS and Meteosat-5 have been added to the archive since 1 January 2001.

    The Objective Dvorak Technique software has been obtained from CIMSS and successfully tested with Hurricane Keith.  Output data sets were also obtained from the Tropical Prediction Center for Hurricanes Floyd, Bonnie and Georges.

    Presentations discussing a subclass of tropical cyclones termed “doughnut hurricanes” were given at both CSU and the interdepartmental hurricane conference.  The documentations of these hurricanes which are symmetric with little or no rain band structure, have large eyes and maintain intensities of approximately 85% of that which would be expected given the sea surface temperature conditions for long periods of time is in review.  These storms are longer lived than typical hurricanes (Figure 1) and thus result in large negative forecast biases shown in Figure 2.
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 1:  Composite time series of the intensity associated with average Atlantic hurricanes that did not encounter cold water or make landfall (56 cases) as reported by Emanuel (2000) and doughnut hurricanes (6 cases), normalized by mean maximum intensity.  Compositing was done relative to the time of maximum intensity.

    Figure 2:  Hurricane intensity forecast biases associated with the 1995- 2000 hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific compared to those of the doughnut hurricanes.  Values are represented in knots.  SHIPS is the statistical hurricane forecast guidance model and NHC is the official forecast.

    A unique case study of Hurricane Floyd which utilizes wind field information derived from a modified version of the CIMSS wind code that utilizes 3-minute interval super rapid scan images continues.  The case study, which is a collaborative study with C. Velden at CIMSS, focuses on two separate problems.   The first is structure changes related to tropical cyclone life cycle changes. The second focus of this study answers the question, how do changes in upper-level wind fields evolve during intensification?   During the intensification period, convection rotating in the eyewall produces a mean convergence of mass and vorticity in the eye (Figure 3).  This configuration changes as the storm becomes steady-state or decays.
     

                                              Figure 3
    xx Figure 3:  The temporal average divergence and vorticity at 150 mb for the period 1304 UTC to 1535 UTC on 12 September 1999 resulting from winds derived from 3 minute interval imagery.  Note Hurricane Floyd is located at the center of the images.

    Datasets for studying global tropical cyclones are being collected and archived in a real-time basis.  Routine datasets include high-density cloud drift winds, ERS-2 and QuikSCAT winds, hurricane reconnaissance, surface and upper air reports, and AMSU quick look data sets.

    Work has begun on the development of a series of statistical hurricane/typhoon forecast models.  Climatology and persistence models are being updated and created for the Atlantic, and the East Pacific for the National Hurricane Center and in the western North Pacific for the US Navy using the most current data.  At the same time, the development of a Statistical Typhoon Intensity Prediction Scheme is being developed for the Navy.

    Software is under development that converts NOGAPS model data (grib format) to a packed ASCII format for use in an ONR research project investigating tropical cyclone intensity change in the Western Pacific.

  • Extra Tropical Cyclones

    Dostalek, Motta

    In conjunction with the PACJET experiment, ATOVS (Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder) data for both NOAA-15 and NOAA-16 are being archived for use in extra tropical cyclone research.

    For the first time in the GOES I-M series of satellites, the National Weather Service (NWS) requested and used RSO imagery during the most critical stages of storm formation in the March 5/6 Nor’easter.  B. Motta collaborated with the Boston NWS Warning and Forecast Office to request imagery for this important period.  As forecasters along the eastern seaboard were looking for the first indications of cyclogenesis, and possibly explosive (rapid) cyclogenesis, RSO imagery was flowing to the WFOs via AWIPS at the most-rapid-rate-possible in the operational forecasting environment. Forecasters also used CIRA/RAMM’s RAMSDIS Online to view the latest RSO loops. Early comments from the NWS forecast offices and related imagery will be placed on CIRA’s Satellite Interpretation Discussion web page.

     

  • Natural Hazards

    Weaver, Connell, Hillger

    A paper by G. Ellrod, B. Connell, and D. Hillger entitled “Improved Detection of Airborne Volcanic Ash Using Multi-Spectral Infrared Satellite Data” was submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research.  This paper highlights the use of the 3.9 Fm imagery combined with the split window technique to detect the presence of ash.  Examples from an eruption over water (Soufriere Hills, Montserrat) and over land (Lascar, Chile) were included.

    The RAMM Team Satellite Interpretation Discussion for December 2000 focuses on the active Popocatepetl (Popo) volcano near Mexico City.  The discussion was put together when Popo started to spew significant amounts of ash in early December, but before the major eruption on 19 December.  The discussion shows the type of analyses used to look at volcanic ash and hot spots using Principal Component Images generated from GOES infrared imagery, as well as day/night visible/shortwave albedo images generated from visible and infrared imagery.  Analyses of this type are currently being used by the NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch.  See:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/picoday/001220/001220.html

     

Applications Development


  • GOES Product Improvement and Development

    Hillger

    See Future GOES

    A submission to the journal Weather and Forecasting entitled “GOES Sounder Derived Product Imagery: Comparisons to Radiosondes and Use in Forecasting Severe Convection” by J. Dostalek and Tim Schmit of CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was returned for revisions.  Corrections are currently being made and are to be returned to the editor by April 23.

    Software to generate Principal Component Images (PCIs) on McIDAS systems has been copied to the CIRA FTP server so that Gary Ellrod of ORA can access it for his work on volcanic ash cases.  The same software has also been made available to the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB).  Jim Clark requested this software so that PCIs can be generated from GOES data on non-RAMSDIS systems at SAB.  Previously PCI products were only available on the SAB RAMSDIS.

    D. Hillger provided answers to several questions about GOES data posed by Octavio Fashe, a geophysics student at the University of San Marcos in Lima Peru.  Mr. Fashe contacted the RAMM Team with questions about brightness temperatures and brightness counts used to display GOES imagery after seeing our RAMMT website.  Also, a subroutine for solar zenith angle determination was delivered to Mr. Fashe.

     


    Future GOES

    A simulation was conducted of the effect of changing the 12.0 µm band (band-5) on current GOES-8 thru 11 to a 13.3 µm band (band-6) starting with GOES-M through O, the first of which is to be launched in the summer of 2001.  The simulations involved both two-band and three-band image products used for volcanic ash detection by the Satellite Analysis Branch.  The example was the 20 December 2000 eruption of Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City simulated using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data.  The results for this case indicate that a two-band product that utilizes the 10.7 µm band-4 and new 13.3 µm band-6 is ineffective for volcanic ash detection.  However a three-band product, such as derived from Principal Component Imagery (PCI) analysis, that uses GOES bands 2, 4 and the new band-6, while still inferior to the same product with the 12.0 µm band-5, is at least of some value for volcanic ash detection.  Below are four figures that show examples of both two- and three-band products utilizing both the old and new GOES bands.
     


    Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Figure 1: Ash plume from Popocatepetl volcano at 1715 UTC on 20 December 2000 seen in a two-band difference image simulated for GOES-8 thru 11 bands 4 and 5.

    Figure 2: Same as Figure 1 but simulated for GOES-M thru O bands 4 and 6.
     


    Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Figure 3: Ash plume from Popocatepetl volcano at 1715 UTC on 20 December 2000 seen in a three-band PCI product simulated for GOES-8 thru 11 bands 2, 4, and 5.

    Figure 4: Same as Figure 3 but simulated for GOES-M thru O bands 2, 4, and 6.

  • POES Data and Products

    Hillger

    Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data were obtained from Chris Moeller at UW/CIMSS for a December 20 case where a large region of volcanic ash was detected in GOES imagery over Mexico from the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City.  According to the attached analysis from the NESDIS/SAB Volcanic Ash Advisory Center the ash plume was concentrated east and south of the volcano, but it extended as far east as the Yucatan Peninsula.  The ash was detected in several Principal Component Images (PCIs) created from the seventeen MODIS IR bands.  One of those images, PCI-8, is attached.  It shows the extent of the ash cloud, and in this case, the ash detection is not confused by surrounding cirrus clouds that often cause problems with the standard GOES channel-4/5 difference used to view ash plumes.  This and other PCIs that detected the ash cloud were weighted heavily towards specific MODIS bands in the shortwave, longwave, and water vapor absorption bands.  A longer report on this study is being prepared together with Jim Clark of SAB.
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Volcanic ash analysis for 1845 UTC on 20 December 2000.  Analysis based on GOES multi-spectral imagery by the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC).

    Figure 2. PCI-8 of 17 PCIs that were generated from the 17 longer-wavelength bands of MODIS for this case: 1715 UTC on 20 December 2000.  PCI-8 contains only 0.18% of the information content in the 17 MODIS bands that went into the analysis.

  • Precipitation

    Grasso

    Work continues on a study to use the RAMS modeling system to generate simulated GOES channel 4 imagery for sensitivity tests of the autoestimator rain algorithm.

  • Climatology

    Connell, Combs

    Processing of the U.S. climatologies continues on schedule.  Products completed include monthly large sector composites for December 2000, January and February 2001, and wind regime composites for November, December 2000, and January 2001.  Monthly wind regime composites covering the past three years has been completed, including April, November and December 2000.  We are now starting on combining four years, with January 2001 completed.

    A special data processing project for Arnie Gruber from NESDIS/ORA in Washington has also been completed.  It consisted of pulling data from our climatology archive, then processing specified sectors and times to correspond with dates for his rainfall study.

    The 2000 data processing and combination with earlier years for the Wakefield project has been completed.  The resulting products are now being analyzed and converted into gif images.

  • Lake Effect Snow

    Bikos, Weaver

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver are collaborating with NWS BUF and Greg Byrd (COMET) on a long-term statistical study of PBL depth with lake-effect snow cases.  Results will be incorporated into an advanced training session on the same topic.  To see the first training session, refer to: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/les/title.asp

  • Mesoscale Modeling

    Grasso, Weaver

    Modeling work continues to focus on left moving thunderstorms, since documentation for left moving thunderstorms is rather sparse in the literature.  Our goal is to improve the documentation by reporting on left movers, and in particular for those cases in which both GOES satellite imagery, and WSR-88D radar data are available.

Outside Interaction


  • National Labs

    Motta, Zehr

    B. Motta participated in a second beta test of the “Top 10 Numerical Weather Prediction Misconceptions” teletraining being developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

  • Universities

    Zehr, Grasso, Weaver, Motta

    Cooperative research and interaction continues with Dr. William Gray’s project at CSU. The focus is on providing satellite data information to aid in their ongoing hurricane research using aircraft flight level and GPS dropsonde data sets.

  • Other NESDIS

    Molenar, Hillger

    Software to generate additional floating sectors of GOES products have been sent to the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB).  Principal Component Images (PCIs) of active volcanic regions are generated for the additional floating sectors.  After the first PCI products were delivered in 1999, an additional sector was requested and delivered in 2000, and now two additional sectors are possible for multiple volcano monitoring.  The PCI products are being used to view volcanic ash and hot spots from four regions simultaneously, such as Mexico, Montserrat, Central America, and Ecuador.  At a later date, further modifications to the software were sent to SAB.  The new software changes the display on some of the user-selected floating sectors employed for volcanic hot spot and ash detection with GOES imagery.  The new software produces 2-panel displays of PCIs, instead of 4-panel displays, for reasons of increased areal coverage over two of the active volcanoes being monitored.  This change was requested by Jim Clark of SAB after a recent visit to CIRA.  Below is an example 2-panel image for the 20 December 2000 eruption of Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City.  The top panel would show the volcanic hot spot if not obscured by clouds, and the bottom panel shows volcanic ash as white.  This wider east-west display tracks the ash as far east as the Yucatan Peninsula.
     


    Figure 1
    xxx Figure 1:  Example of a 2-panel image for the 20 December 2000 eruption of Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City.  The top panel would show the volcanic hot spot as white if it were not obscured by clouds, and the bottom panel shows volcanic ash as white.  The wide east-west display tracks the ash plume as far east as the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • NWS

    Weaver, Dostalek, Motta

    A manuscript entitled ‘High Resolution GOES -8 Visible and Infrared Cloud Frequency Composites over Northern Florida during the Summers 1996-1999′ by B. Connell, K. Gould, and J. Purdom, was submitted to Weather and Forecasting.  The paper highlights the results of a regime-based sea breeze cloud frequency climatology designed to aid forecasters in predicting the timing and extent of convection under various background wind regimes.

    During the VISIT lightning session on 23 March, the Science and Operations Officer from WFO Albuquerque expressed particular interest in lightning as a potential tool for estimating precipitation amounts over large areas where radar scans are blocked by mountainous terrain. Preliminary research is underway at Albuquerque. Zajac and Weaver stated their willingness to be involved in a project that could benefit WFOs throughout the West.

  • International Activities

    Connell, Knaff

    RMTC Project:

    GOES-8 imagery for December 2000 through February, 2001 were sent to the Regional Meteorological Training Centers (RMTCs) in Costa Rica and Barbados.  The archives are being used to study cloud frequency during the rainy and dry seasons and detect local variations from year to year. An example of monthly cloud frequency composites for December – February 1996 -2001 by 10.7 um temperature threshold technique for Costa Rica is presented in Figure 1.
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 1:  Example of monthly cloud frequency composites for December – February  1996  – 2001 by 10.7 mm temperature threshold technique for Costa Rica.

    A comparison of cloud frequency derived by temperature threshold of 10.7 Fm imagery for December – February of 1998 – 2001 is shown in Figure 2.  The archived imagery also provides access to examples for use in satellite focused training efforts.

    Figure 2:  Comparison of cloud frequency derived by temperature threshold of 10.7 mm imagery for December – February of 1998 – 2001.

     


    MITCH Reconstruction Project:

    The training on the use of satellite imagery on the RAMSDIS system has been set for April 23-27, 2001.  The focus of the weeklong seminar will be on GOES image interpretation and satellite based precipitation techniques.  Each of 7 Central American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize) has nominated 2 participants to attend.  Lectures and labs are being updated for use with the RAMSDIS system.  Also the selection of the contractor for the GOES ingest system is nearly completed.

     

  • Miscellaneous (Meetings & Visitors)

    Meetings/Conferences:
     

    Traveler Destination Meetings/Conferences Funding Dates Trip Reports
    M. DeMaria Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Meeting GIMPAP 1/14-19
    Report
    J. Knaff Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Meeting USWRP 1/14-19  
    B. Motta Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Meeting VISIT 1/14-19
    Report
    D. Bikos Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Meeting VISIT 1/14-19  
    J. Dostalek Monterey, CA PACJET Meeting USWRP 1/18-20
    Report
    M. DeMaria Orlando, FL 55th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5-9
    Report
    R. Zehr Orlando, FL 55th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5-9
    Report
    J. Knaff Orlando, FL 55th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5-8  

    Visitors:
     

    Visitor(s) 
    Date of 
    Visit
    Affiliation RAMMT Contact
    J. Rhome, C. Sisko February 2 Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch National Hurricane Center M. DeMaria
    J. Clark February 6 NOAA/NESDIS/OSDPD/SSD/Satellite Analysis Branch D. Hillger
    Bessho, Kohno, Ueno, Mashiko, Takizawa, Takishita, unknown February 26 Meteorological Research Institute
    PD/Japan Meteorological Agency
    M. DeMaria
    G. Toth March 9 Operational meteorologist with Environment Canada  Canadian Meteorological Centre in Montréal D. Hillger
    W. Paul Menzel March 14 Senior Scientist, NOAA/NESDIS/ORA M. DeMaria

Field Experiments


  • HRD and CAMEX

    Gosden, Watson, Zehr

    An improved version of Tropical RAMSDIS was used for this year’s hurricane season, at CIRA and HRD.  The reliability of this year’s Tropical RAMSDIS with respect to outages, has improved significantly.  During the 2001 Hurricane Season, Hurricane Research Division’s field experiment activities will be expanded and conducted in collaboration with CAMEX-4 (Convective and Mesoscale Experiment).  CIRA will again coordinate scheduling and collection of RSO and SRSO data sets.

  • Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study (STEPS) 2000

    Zajac, Weaver, Bikos

    Bard Zajac attended a workshop on STEPS held at NCAR from 15-16 March. The field program took place from May-July 2000 in eastern Colorado and western Kansas. Data set availability, preliminary analyses, and collaboration were discussed. Many of the study’s participants attended including Llyle Barker, the Science and Operations Officer from the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas. Zajac and Barker discussed the development of AWIPS case studies from STEPS for use in VISIT lightning teletraining (see Technology Transfer and Training).

    Zajac prepared GOES-8 visible imagery from 22 June 2000 for Pat Kennedy, facility manager for the CSU-CHILL radar, one of the two polarimetric-Doppler radars deployed in the field program. The images in GIF browser format will be used by Kennedy to determine whether radar data from the storm of interest on 22 June were contaminated by second-trip echoes from a distant storm.

  • GOES-11 Science Test

    Knaff, Weaver, Hillger

    Additional analysis was performed on special 10-minute interval Sounder data collected during the checkout period for GOES-11.  Basic conclusions include; 1) temporal variability to the 72% level (0.85 correlation) requires that many Sounder bands be collected at least every 30 minutes, as opposed to the hour interval now employed by GOES, 2)  spatial variability to the 72% level (0.85 correlation) requires that many Sounder bands be collected (and retrievals produced) at 20 km or less resolution.  The results are included in the linked web page:   http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/KFIntranet/Weeklies/SoundVar.htm

  • PACJET

    DeMaria, Dostalek, Zajac

    In support of the PACJET experiment, a RAMSDIS unit was sent to the operations headquarters at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.  Because a similar exper  iment may occur next winter, the RAMSDIS unit will remain at NPS.

    The Pacific Landfalling Jets Experiment (PACJET) took place from January 19 to March 1, 2001.  As part of the effort, a web page (http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/pacjet/index.htm) was created displaying GOES-10 images, NOAA-15 overpass times, and various meteorological fields derived from AMSU data taken from NOAA-15.  J. Dostalek visited the operations headquarters at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA January 18-21 to set up the RAMSDIS unit provided for GOES-10 satellite support.

    Bard Zajac has continued to examine cloud-to-ground lightning activity in land-falling extratropical cyclones along the Pacific Coast using AWIPS. This research is motivated by PACJET, unique lightning behavior in these storm systems, and the potential forecast value of lightning data. (The Science and Operations Officer from the NWS office in Eureka, California has stated that lightning data is already used for qualitative information on the intensity of mesoscale components of these systems.)  Zajac has established an archive of cloud-to-ground lightning data during winter 2000-2001. This archive will be surveyed, storms of interest identified, and satellite and radar data sets obtained to develop case studies for VISIT lightning teletraining (see VISIT).

Technology Transfer & Training


  • Web Pages

    DeMaria, Gosden, Dostalek

    The ORA intranet page was modified to allow archiving of the 2001 weekly highlights section.

    The following web pages are still available:

    Hurricane Mitch:   http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/MitchProject/default.htm

    Wakefield Wind Climatology:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/clim/Wakefield/windr.html

    Temporal and Spectral Differences of Water Vapor Radiances:  http://cassiopeia.cira.colostate.edu/

  • Satellite Interpretation Discussion

    Grasso

     

    Title Author Date Web site
    IR Imagery During the Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Keith (2000) R. Zehr January 22 http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/picoday/010122/010122.html
    Evidence of Atmospheric Waves in Cloud and Moisture Fields B. Zajac March 30 http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/picoday/010330/010330.html

  • RAMSDIS

    Molenar, Connell, Dostalek, Gosden, Hillger

    Tropical RAMSDIS has continued operation during the Southern Hemisphere Hurricane Season. In addition to those tropical cyclones, other tropical weather systems are viewed. Evaluation continues for upgrades, improvements, and experimental product testing.

    In support of the PACJET experiment, a RAMSDIS unit was sent to the operations headquarters at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.  Because a similar experiment may occur next winter, the RAMSDIS unit will remain at NPS.

  • RAMSDIS Online

    Hillger, Watson, Gosden

    For the first time in the GOES I-M series of satellites, the National Weather Service (NWS) requested and used RSO imagery during the most critical stages of storm formation in the March 5/6 Nor’easter.  B. Motta collaborated with the Boston NWS Warning and Forecast Office to request imagery for this important period.  As forecasters along the eastern seaboard were looking for the first indications of cyclogenesis, and possibly explosive (rapid) cyclogenesis, RSO imagery was flowing to the WFOs via AWIPS at the most-rapid-rate-possible in the operational forecasting environment. Forecasters also used CIRA/RAMM’s RAMSDIS Online to view the latest RSO loops. Early comments from the NWS forecast offices and related imagery will be placed on CIRA’s Satellite Interpretation Discussion web page.

    Experimental fire detection image products over Florida, generated at CIRA using GOES Imager data, are again available on RAMSDIS On-Line (ROL).  These products, used during the last Florida summer/fire season, were requested again by John Pendergrast of the National Weather Service office in Melbourne FL.  The product suite includes four (visible and infrared) image products, designed to detect fire hot spots and smoke from fires.  Adjustments to the navigation parameters were made to better align the visible and infrared images for correlation of smoke with fires.  The Florida Fire ROL website is:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/rmsdsol/flfire.html Two image examples accompany this item.
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 1: Example of a GOES shortwave albedo image product over Florida.  Fires show up as white spots.  There is one small fire north of Lake Okeechobee and another more intense fire hot spot in the northwest corner of the image on the Florida/Alabama border.

    Figure 2: Example of the day portion of the GOES day/night visible/shortwave albedo image product over Florida.  No smoke from fires is visible in this image, but the water immediately off the west coast of Florida has increased visible albedo, presumably due to the shallower water along this coast compared to the east coast of Florida.  Albedos are enhanced in this visible albedo product compared to normal visible imagery.

  • VISIT

    Motta, Bikos, Zajac, Weaver, Zehr

    J. Weaver, R. Zehr, B. Motta, B. Zajac, and D. Bikos were honored with the NOAA/NESDIS/Office of Research and Applications Trainer of the Year Award for outstanding efforts in the development and implementation of distance learning through the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) Program.

    J. Weaver and B. Motta led two training sessions with NWS forecasters on Using GOES RSO (Rapid Scan Operations) imagery for various applications.

    The “Using AWIPS to Evaluate Model Initializations” training session was instructed five times.  This training covers the use of satellite and model data together to validate initial model analyses/forecasts. Participants included NOAA/NESDIS/ORA/ARAD.

    B. Motta participated in two reviews/beta tests of the “Top 10 Numerical Weather Prediction Misconceptions” teletraining being developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction for the NWP Professional Development Series.

    B. Motta participated in a beta-test of a teletraining session developed for the System for Convective Analysis and Nowcasting by the National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Branch.  New AWIPS displays and capabilities to be deployed soon with Build 5 software were explained.

    Bard Zajac and John Weaver are developers of a two-part teletraining session on lightning meteorology.  Part One examines thunderstorm electrification and lightning activity in isolated storms and mesoscale convective systems.  The session was first presented to NWS offices on 17 January and has been offered ten times through 23 March.  It has been taken by 45 offices and attended by 259 individuals (see Figure 1). A second, more advanced, session is in development and is scheduled for release in May or June 2001. This material will examine advanced electrification and anomalous lightning behaviors in tropical, severe, and winter storms.  Click on images to enlarge
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 1:   Nationwide participation in Lightning Meteorology I between 17 Jan 2001 through 23 Mar 2001.

    Dan Bikos and John Weaver are working on a new VISIT teletraining session “Advanced usage of GOES Rapid Scan Operations.”  This session will rely heavily on results from the GOES-11 science test SRSO case of July 24, 2000 recently submitted paper to Bulletin of the AMS by Weaver et. al., and include other new cases as well.

    During this quarter, 80 VISIT sessions were given in which 501 offices participated. 2079 students completed this training.
    Evaluations were conducted.  Figure 2 shows the results of ranking the following questions:

    1. The session was easy to follow, and the objectives were met.
    2. The content of the session was appropriate.
    3. Teletraining was an appropriate method for presenting the session.
    4. The graphics contributed well to my understanding.
    5. The instructor provided sufficient interactivity to keep me involved and test my learning.
    6. The instructor explained the material clearly.
    7. My knowledge and/or skills increased as a result of this session.
    8. The knowledge and/or skills gained through this session are directly applicable to my job.
    9. Overall, the session was a good learning experience.

    Where:
    5 (yellow) indicates strongly agree
    4  (blue) indicates agree
    3  (beige) indicates neutral
    2  (green) indicates disagree
    1  (red) indicates strongly disagree
     


    Figure 2
    xxx Figure 2:   Bar chart showing respondents ranking of the above topics.  To summarize this chart, 84% of respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed to question 9 – overall, the session was a good learning experience.

    The recent trend has shown a dramatic increase in the number of certificates issued (Figure 3) associated with an increasingly large number of sessions being offered, and a trend toward having more offices per session.  Because of this increase, D. Bikos is now supervising an hourly student (Asha McClurg) to work solely on certificate production and mailing.

    Figure 3:   Cumulative number of IST/VISIT certificates of completions awarded to students who complete VISIT teletraining sessions.  Certificate issuance began in April 1999. 
     
    xxx
    Figure 3

     


    Web versions of certain VISIT sessions may be visited at the following addresses:

    Boundary Detection: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/boundaries/title.asp

    CONUS Cloud to Ground Lightning Climatology: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/lightning/title.asp

    Convective Initiation by Low-Level Boundaries: http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/visit/lessons/bndry2/viewmaster.html

    Detecting Boundaries: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/boundaries1/title.asp

    Elevated Mesoscale Ascent: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ascent/title.asp

    GOES enhancements/color tables in AWIPS: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/istpds/awips/awips_1.html

    Lake-effect snow (student guide, web based session link temporarily on this page): http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/les/title.asp

    Mesoscale Analyses and Techniques: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/mesoana/title.asp

    NDIC:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ndic/title.asp

    Rapid Scan Operations:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/rso/title.asp

    Tropical Satellite Imagery and Products: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/tropical/title.asp

    QuikSCAT: http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/qscat/title.asp

  • VISITview

    Motta, Bikos

    Newly developed capabilities and new versions of the VISITview software were tested.  Also see VISIT

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

    Staff

    J. Weaver spent a day-and-a-half at COMET in Boulder preparing material for presentation at the next several Warning Decision Making classes.  He was asked to add a satellite component to the otherwise WSR88D-dominated world of severe thunderstorm nowcaster training.

    J. Weaver recorded a voice-script for a web-based training course on urban flash flooding.  Weaver supplied much of the text, voice and photos for this course.

    J.  Weaver made presentations at two Warning Decision Making courses at COMET on January 2 and March 8.  His presentation lasts about 1-½ hours and is titled “Understanding Mesoscale Aspects of Convective Weather using Satellite Imagery.”

  • Community Outreach

    Weaver, DeMaria

    J. Weaver continues as the NOAA representative on the City of Fort Collins= Disaster Resistant Community steering committee.  His goal is to assure that weather information is utilized as a potential mitigation tool.  Part of this effort includes the Natural Disaster Information Card series (see VISIT).

    M. DeMaria gave a talk entitled “ Hurricanes and Their Impacts” to about 30 seventh graders at Blevins Junior High.

    M. DeMaria spoke on hurricanes to a group of Fort Collins Junior High School Students, as part of their field trip to CIRA the week of March 26.

  • Publications

    Fryer

    Published:
     

    To “Accepted” To “Submitted”

    Chase, T.N., J.A. Knaff, and R.A. Pielke, 2001: Trends in global monsoon circulations: Evidence for a diminished
    hydrological cycle? 12th Symposium on Global Change Studies and Climate Variations – 81st Annual AMS Meeting,
    14-19 January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    DeMaria, M., 2001: Extension of statistical tropical cyclone intensity forecasts to Day 4 and Day 5. 55th
    Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 5-9 March, Orlando, FL.

    DeMaria, M., and R.E. Tuleya, 2001: Evaluation of quantitative precipitation forecasts from the GFDL hurricane model.
    Precipitation of Extremes: Prediction, Impacts, and Responses, 81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19 January, Albuquerque,
    NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Kidder, S.Q., J.A. Knaff, and S.J. Kusselson, 2001: Using AMSU data to forecast precipitation from landfalling hurricanes.Precipitation of Extremes: Prediction, Impacts, and Responses -81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19 January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Landsea, C.W., and J.A. Knaff, 2001: How much “skill” was there in forecasting the strong 1997-98 El Nino and
    1998-2000 La Nina events? Climate Variability, the Ocean, and Societal Impacts – 81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19
    January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B.A. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, J.F. Weaver,
    and R.M. Zehr, 2001: Recent training and results from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 17th
    International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS) – 81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19
    January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Motta, B.C., D.E. Bikos, B.A. Zajac, S. Bachmeier, T. Whittaker, B. Grant, J. LaDue, A. Mostek, P. Wolf, J.F. Weaver,
    and R.M. Zehr, 2001: Recent training and results from the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training. 10th
    Symposium on Education – 81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19 January, Albuquerque, NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Scofield, R.A., M. DeMaria, and R.M. Alfaro, 2001: Space-based rainfall capabilities in hurricanes offshore and inland.
    Precipitation of Extremes: Prediction, Impacts, and Responses, 81st Annual AMS Meeting, 14-19 January, Albuquerque,
    NM, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Zehr, R.M., 2001: Characteristics of 23 Atlantic Intense Hurricanes –1995-2000– Satellite and Aircraft Observations.
    55th Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference, 5-9 March, Orlando, FL.

    Accepted:

    Back to the top

    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.

    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 Forecasting.

    DeMaria, M., J.A. Knaff, and B.H. Connell, 2001:A tropical cyclone genesis parameter for the Tropical Atlantic, Weather
    and Forecasting.

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

    Grasso, L.D. and E.R. Hilgendorf, 2001: Observations of a severe left moving thunderstorm. Weather and
    Forecasting.

    Kaplan, J., M. DeMaria, 2001: A note on the decay of tropical cyclone winds after landfall in the New England area. J. of
    Applied Meteorology.

    Weaver, J.F., J.F. Dostalek, and L. Phillips, 2001: Left-moving thunderstorms in a high plains, weakly-sheared
    environment. 18th conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and the 14th Conference on Numerical Weather
    Prediction, 30 July-2 August, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Zajac, B.A. and S. A. Rutledge, 2001: Cloud-to-ground lightning activity in the contiguous United States from 1995-1997.
    Mon. Wea. Rev.

    Submitted:

    Back to the top

    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.

    DeMaria, M., J.M. Gross, and E.N. Rappaport, 2001: Long-term trends in hurricane watches and warnings issued by the
    National Hurricane Center. Bull. of the Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Dostalek, J.F., and T.J. Schmit, 2001: GOES sounder derived product imagery: comparisons to radiosondes and use in
    forecasting severe convection. Weather and Forecasting.

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

    Grasso, L.D. and J.F. Weaver, 2001: Horizontal vorticity budget along a simulated supercell outflow boundary. Mon.
    Wea. Rev.

    Knaff, J.A., J.P. Kossin, M. DeMaria, V.E. Larson, 2001: Nature’s axisymmetric hurricane – “The Doughnut.” J. of
    Atmospheric Science.

    Motta, B.C., 2001: Model trends and satellite imagery in forecasting. 18th Conference on Weather Analysis and
    Forecasting and the 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, 29 July-2 August, Fort Lauderdale, FL Amer.
    Meteor. Soc.

    Nolan, D.S., M.T. Montgomery, and L.D. Grasso, 2001: The wavenumber one instability and trochoidal motion of
    hurricane-like vortices. J. of the Atmospheric Sciences.

    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. Climate Dynamics.

    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. Bull. of the Amer. Meteor. Soc.

  • Training

    Fryer

    Received:

    Participant Dates Place Course
    K. Fryer
    January 5
    Colorado State University Dreamweaver 4.0
    D. Hillger
    January 5
     Colorado State University Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    M. DeMaria
    L. Grasso
    February 26 – March 2 
    Geosciences Center at CIRA Data Assimilation
    K. Fryer
    March 20 & 22
    Colorado State University Photoshop 6.0

    Given:

    ParticipantCIRA Dates Place Course/Talk
    M. DeMaria February 28  Geosciences Center at CIRA  Optimization of a Hurricane Track Forecast Model Using the Adjoint Equations
  • Internal Presentations
    Date  Presentor    Topic 
    March 14 P. Menzel Remote sensing of land, ocean, and atmosphere with MODIS
     
    February 26 K. Bessho, W. Mashiko, and M. Ueno Typhoon observation over Okinawa using Aerosonde
    (K. Bessho); Development of a next generation typhoon model based on the MRI non-hydrostatic model (W. Mashiko); Motion and asymmetric structure of tropical cyclones in vertically sheared environmental flow (M. Ueno)
    February 20 B. Zajac Thunderstorm Electrification 
     
    February 6 J. Clark An Overview of Satellite Analysis Branch Operational Products and Services
     
    February 2 J. Rhome An Overview of the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) of the Tropical Prediction Center
     
    January 29 J. Knaff Nature’s Axisymmetric Hurricane: the Doughnut
     

Infrastructure


  • Systems Administration

    Molenar, Gosden

    HP Service Contracts were renewed.  Addition of hardware service agreement is currently being reviewed.

    Security patches as of March 2001 have been installed on all HP workstations.

    New circuits have been added in all labs and in the VISIT office.

  • Administration

    DeMaria, Molenar, Grasso, Fryer

    A student hourly has been hired to assist with infrastructure support tasks.

    The week of February 2, in response to a request for proposals by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), a small proposal was submitted to NCEP through COMET to develop a specialized assimilation system for tropical cyclones. The tropical cyclone assimilation system is based upon a simplified system of equations (the Eliassen balanced vortex model), and will be tested as a candidate for inclusion in the global data assimilation system. The vertical structure functions will be determined from statistical analysis of aircraft reconnaissance data in the lower troposphere and wind retrievals from the Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit (AMSU) data in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

    A proposal requesting two years support (8 months total) from the NOAA Office of Global Programs CLIVAR-Pacific program was submitted the week of January 19.  Entitled “Beyond ENSO-CLIPER: A Second Generation ENSO Forecast Model”, the proposal is in partnership with C. Landsea at NOAA/AOML/HRD and will study the development of a second generation ENSO forecast model.

    On January 5, at the request of Robert Abbey, a proposal was submitted to ONR to generalize a statistical intensity forecast method developed for the Atlantic and East Pacific for use in the Western Pacific tropical cyclone basin. ONR research funds have become available from a special one-year ONR project to enhance the ability to transition research results to the operational environment.

    Annual review meetings were held March 12 and 13 with most of the CIRA RAMM Team employees. A summary of accomplishments was presented to their supervisor (L. Grasso) in preparation for appointment renewals later in the year. M. DeMaria also attended these meetings. One recurring theme was that the method by which CIRA employees are evaluated and rewarded needs clarification. A new classification and promotion system is currently being developed at CIRA to address this problem.

Miscellaneous


  • Travel

    Fryer

     

    Team Member
    Destination
     Purpose
     Funding 
    Dates
    Mark DeMaria Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Annual Meeting GIMPAP 1/15 – 19
    John Knaff Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Annual Meeting USWRP 1/15 – 19
    Brian Motta Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Annual Meeting VISIT 1/15 – 19
    Dan Bikos Albuquerque, NM 81st AMS Annual Meeting VISIT 1/15 – 19
    Jack Dostalek Monterey, CA PACJET Meeting USWRP 1/18 & 19
    Mark DeMaria Orlando, FL Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5 – 9
    Ray Zehr Orlando, FL Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5 – 9
    John Knaff Orlando, FL Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference GIMPAP 3/5 – 9

  • List of Acronyms

    Fryer

    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

    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