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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 4th Qtr FY97

Reserach (Meteorological)

  • Severe Storm

    Severe Storms (Weaver, Combs, Dostalek, Grasso, Motta, Winston)

      • Data for the Jarrell, TX tornado outbreak of 27 May 97 were analyzed. A contribution to the NWS disaster assessment was prepared and included in the NWS final report. The material was also organized for presentation at the National Weather Association 22nd Annual meeting.



      • Research utilizing satellite imagery, Doppler radar, and surface mesonet data from a VORTEX 1997 case day has begun. The study focuses on the tornadic outbreak of 25 May 1997, and is aimed at determining ways to predict the localized nature of these storms.



      • 10.7 mm brightness temperatures and visible imagery were used as input to a cloud clearing algorithm for application in mesoscale models. The cloud information were run using the CSU/RAMS model on both the 04 Jul 95 and the 31 May 96 tornadic storm cases.



      • Responses were provided to reviewers for the Weather and Forecasting Photo of the Quarter submission titled “Nighttime Detection of Low-level Thunderstorm Outflow Using a GOES Multi-spectral Image Product.”



    • Prepared material for a satellite workshop on severe weather to be presented at the National Weather Association 22nd Annual Meeting. The data were from the 31 May 96, 30-second SRSO tornado case. Accumulated and archived Ft. Collins flood data for joint research with CSU and CIRA scientists including, Steve Rutledge (CHILL radar), the Colorado Climate Center (Precipitation), NWS (Bob Glancey, Denver), and CIRA (Don Reinke).
  • Tropical

    Tropical (Zehr, Hilgendorf, Knaff, Vaughn)

      • Two versions of a paper on vertical wind shear influences on hurricane intensity change were submitted for the AMS Conference in Phoenix in January. They were submitted for the Symposium on Tropical Cyclone Intensity Change and the Symposium on Research Foci of the U.S. Weather Research Program.



      • Research continues with the goal of using satellite data to better quantify and understand the influence of vertical wind shear on intensity change. It has long been recognized that strong vertical wind shear of the environment may often inhibit the intensification process. However, there is evidence that the measurement and assessment of the vertical wind shear forcing on intensity change is often inadequate. Satellite imagery with Hurricane Opal from 1995 and Hurricane Bertha from 1996 have been analyzed to assess the direction and magnitude of vertical shear in both an upper and lower layer (3 levels). Cloud asymmetries from IR images (storm relative average images used) were used along with RSO imagery for cloud top center location, and visible/3.9-micrometer images for low-level center location. Aircraft observed center locations along with hurricane motion and assumption of propagation with a deep layer wind were also incorporated into the analysis. Results show that vertical wind shear direction changes may be associated with vertical wind shear minima and coinciding intensity increases. Center relative average images suggest that the direction of vertical shear may often change sign in the vertical, and therefore not be adequately measured by the traditional 200-850 mb model data analysis. Work is underway to extend such analysis to a large data sample. Hurricane Erika and TD 5, from 1997, along with 1995-1996 Atlantic hurricanes are being used. Another approach which uses high-density water vapor and visible cloud track wind sets to assess vertical wind shear is under investigation. There is a need for comparison of satellite diagnosis of vertical wind shear to the model analysis quantities which are used in statistical intensity forecast algorithms.



      • A journal article manuscript, “Observational Investigation of Tropical Cyclogenesis in the Western North Pacific,” was submitted to Monthly Weather Review. This is a more concise, revised version of NOAA Tech. Report NESDIS 61 Chapters 1 through 5.



      • The McIDAS grid data from the NCEP model runs are available again to CIRA from the NESDIS servers. An eight-level wind analysis, a 3-level height analysis, along with surface pressure and temperature grids were archived twice daily for 2.5 deg lat resolution Northern Hemisphere, from the Aviation model. The software to compute hemispheric Genesis Parameter (GP) fields is running and the data were archived for Aug-Sept, 1997. The data is also used for intensity change research and for Tropical RAMSDIS.



      • Four additional 1997 cases, (Danny, Guillermo, Erika, and Linda), were archived, giving 24 tropical cyclones cases available for analysis. Training and data management support were provided for CSU student Matt Eastin’s class project analyzing inner core upper winds from 1-minute visible imagery with Hurricanes Fran and Luis.. His work provided several excellent data sets showing the cyclonic circulation and outflow at hurricane cloud top in the inner core region. The McIDAS wind files have been converted to grid files for additional analysis.



      • John Knaff, a recent CSU Ph. D. Graduate with Dr. William Gray’s project was hired at CIRA as an Associate Fellow Post-Doctoral appointment. He began work on Sept. 1, 1997, on tropical cyclone research.



      • High resolution (10 sec) flight level observations from the Air Force Reserve “Hurricane Hunter” C130 reconnaissance flights have been obtained for the periods of GOES 1-minute rapid scan with hurricanes in 1995-1996. This data was made available through NOAA Hurricane Research Division and is to be used for combined data set studies of hurricane structure and intensity change. These data have been successfully converted to McIDAS format so that flight level information can now be displayed along with satellite imagery for research purposes.



      • Numerical model computations of environmental vertical wind shear, center relative average images, IR image asymmetry computations, and objective IR applications programs, were used to analyze the influence of vertical wind shear and the observed intensity changes with Hurricanes Guillermo and Erika.



      • Major improvements to Tropical RAMSDIS have been included into a 1997 Version and development efforts are continuing. The major changes: 1. Movable 4 km IR and Ch2/Vis sectors have matching resolutions and projections. 2. Full resolution sectors over S FL and a movable sector have been added. 3. Meteosat water vapor imagery is now included. 4. NCEP McIDAS grid point fields from the Aviation model are now available. 5. Low-level high density visible wind data is now available to supplement the water vapor winds. 6. Scatterometer winds from NESDIS can be displayed. 7. A disk has been added to aid in data archiving. 8. A cloud clearing routine for daily Ch2 nighttime images of SST has been developed. 9. A 6-day water vapor loop has been added.



      • An improved version of Tropical RAMSDIS is now operational at Hurricane Research Division (HRD). Improved capabilities include: full-resolution visible ingest, matching Channel 2 and visible sectors enhanced to provide continuous day/night viewing of shallow clouds, and Meteosat-6 water vapor images.



      • During topical storm season, a recent GOES-8 infrared (channel 4) two and a half hour image loop over the most “interesting” tropical weather feature of the moment was made available on the CIRA web server at: The most recent infrared image was complemented with either a corresponding visible image (during daylight hours) or a 3.9 micron image (during the night). These images were automatically selected and sent to the server from the RAMM Team’s tropical RAMSDIS workstation.



      • Hurricane applications programs were run on 30-min interval GOES IR imagery during 3 days of Hurricane Pauline. This was an East Pacific hurricane that intensified rapidly as it approached the coast of Mexico. The programs quantify intensity change and wind distribution from the IR cloud area time series.



      • A program was developed which uses the NCEP’s global spectral model (AVN) with 2.5 degree grid spacing to plot the magnitude and direction of the vertical wind shear between two user defined levels. Quantifying vertical shear along the forecast track may aid in the forecast of hurricane intensity.



      • A program was developed which uses the AVN model with 2.5 degree grid spacing to plot the magnitude and direction of the wind at a user defined level. Wind velocity is an essential ingredient in identifying the potential for hurricane formation.



    • A program was developed which uses the AVN model 2.5 degree grids to produce a vertical sounding of the average wind velocity calculated using model grid points within a user defined radius. The sounding includes 8 levels: 1000, 925, 850, 700, 500, 300, 200, and 150 mb. The program is currently being used at the Hurricane Research Division in Miami, FL and is also being used here at CIRA for hurricane research.
  • Extra Tropical Cyclones

    Lake Effect Snow (Grasso, Dostalek, Weaver)

      • National Weather Digest article on the 8-11 Dec 95 lake effect snow case study is in press for the December 1997 issue. The final case is now included as a paper in the new electronic section of the RAMM publications page as well as on the NWS Detroit, Michigan interactive training page.


      • SRSO imagery for 16 Jan 97 are being analyzed to determine time and spatial scales of elements within lake effect snow bands. Correlations between heaviest snow producing bands and water signatures on 3.9 mm imagery are also being studied.


    • The CSU/RAMS mesoscale model is being utilized to look at various aspects of lake effect snow events. Work is currently focused on using real data to simulate what is observed on 3.9 mm imagery and on band intensity and location.
  • Natural Hazards

    Natural Hazards (Weaver, Connell)

      • Satellite data over volcanoes which erupted during the period May – Sep 1997 were reviewed for the detection of volcanic ash. Cases included Popocatepetl in Mexico, Pacaya in Guatemala, San Cristobal in Nicaragua, Sabancaya in Peru and Soufriere Hills in Montserrat. GOES-8 visible imagery, the 3.9/10.7 micrometer reflectivity product and the 10.7/12.0 micrometer difference product were used to identify the ash plumes.



    • A new satellite product for volcano detection is being developed and tested which combines the reflectivity product and the 10.7-12.0 difference product. Ash plumes were detected for the Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico and Soufreire Hills in Montserrat. Volcanoes in Central America primarily produce lava flows with very little ash cloud.

Research (Applied Development)

  • GOES Product Improvement

    GOES Product Improvement and Development (Hillger, Campbell, Combs)

    • Software for Principal Component Images (PCIs) has been developed for the standard RAMSDIS configuration. This software allows the generation of PCIs from 4 of the 5 GOES channels on the most recent images collected. The GOES channels and PCIs are displayed in previously unused frames and are accessed using a function key. Weighting functions can be added as well. The PCI products are being tested for availability as a RAMSDIS product for those requesting it. Plans are to distribute this product to one or two selected RAMSDIS sites for feedback as a cloud height discrimination product.
  • Soundings

    Soundings (Hillger, Campbell)

    • The Sounder RAMSDIS has been upgraded to include a nighttime-fog/daytime-reflectivity product similar to that generated from the GOES Imager. This product has been compared/contrasted to the Principal Component Image (PCI) products being generated hourly on the Sounder RAMSDIS. Some of the low/high cloud discriminations using the fog/reflectivity product are similar to those for the PCIs. In addition, pressure weighting functions for the PCIs aid in their interpretation.
  • Satellite/Radar

    Satellite/Radar (Weaver, Motta, Winston)

      • Results from a study combining GOES-8, SRSO imagery and WSR-88D data were presented at the 28th Conference on Radar Meteorology. The presentation was entitled, “Using WSR-88D Radar Data and 30-second Interval GOES Satellite Imagery to Examine Apparent Thunderstorm-top Rotation Observed on May 31, 1996.”



    • Refined GOES parallax correction software was referred for use on RAMSDIS. The software allows more accurate geolocation of cloud top features with low-level features. The routines were distributed to all current RAMSDIS users.
  • Calibration/Validation

    Calibration/Validation (Hillger)

    • The SOCC RAMSDIS was upgraded from 8-hour to 12-hour loops for all 5 GOES Imager channels. The longer loops required a major upgrade of RAMSDIS software and of the image quality analysis programs specifically developed for SOCC. Improvements in the display of results from analysis of random noise and detector-to-detector striping were a result of feedback from a journal manuscript on the SOCC RAMSDIS. New histogram analyses are available for multiple image times.
  • Precipitation

    Precipitation (Grasso, Hilgendorf)

      • The long range QPE product has been planned. As proposed, the product will comprise a 4-panel display including radar, satellite, and sounding information to be used to calculate flash flood potential. A mock-up of the 4-panel product includes actual color satellite, radar, and sounding data as well as details about the calculation for maximum precipitation. The mock-up was presented at the CIRA retreat at Pingree Park in August 1997 and was also presented to CIRA management at a poster session in August 1997.



      • Eric Hilgendorf and Dr. Richard H. Johnson re-submitted A Study of the Evolution of Mesoscale Convective Systems Using WSR-88D Data for publication in Weather and Forecasting after it was accepted with revisions. Revisions included changing the title (WSR-88D rather than NEXRAD) and assessing the role of the low-level jet.



    • As support for the modeling component of the flash flood product, software has been developed to extract temperature, dewpoint, surface heights, and wind velocity from the ETA model soundings. These soundings are to be used in the flash flood guidance product which will predict the maximum potential rain accumulation for the location of the sounding.

Field Experiments


    FASTEX (Dostalek)

    • A RAMSDIS unit was delivered to NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) in Boulder, CO and training was provided on its use to a number of ETL employees. The RAMSDIS unit will be used not only for real time ingest, but also for analyzing imagery taken during FASTEX.

Outside Interactions

  • National Labs

    National Labs (Weaver, Zehr)

    • Research RAMSDIS development and site visits to Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and Hurricane Research Division (HRD) by both R. Zehr and C. Vaughn has resulted in a major upgrade to the Tropical RAMSDIS which incorporates most of HRD’s suggestions and requests. They are using the RAMSDIS for research flight planning, to analyze RSO/SRSO data sets made available by RAMM/CIRA, for data archiving to support several research projects and field experiments, and lab weather discussions. Training was provided on the use of RAMSDIS.
    • Consultations continue on cooperative research projects. Topics include: 1) Intensity change forcing and statistical forecasting. 2) Small scale eye wall phenomena observable with 1-minute imagery. 3) Data collection and satellite image analysis support for Aircraft Research Missions.
  • Universities

    Universities (Zehr, Grasso, Molenar)

    • Interaction continues with Dr. William Gray’s (Colorado State University) project. Continued cooperative work includes participation in project meetings, data management consultations, real-time tropical weather discussions, and class lectures. Daily weather briefings during the hurricane season using Tropical RAMSDIS are organized by CSU graduate students and attended by a diverse group of faculty, students, and staff.
  • Other NESDIS

    Other NESDIS (Hillger, Molenar, Zehr)

      • R. Zehr visited SAB Aug. 4-5, 1997 for training and planning on revisions and upgrades to the RAMSDIS at SAB. Consultations took place with personnel (Marcia Weaks, Otto Karst, Michael Turk) at SAB concerning interpretation of the results of their evaluation studies of the Dvorak technique and digital IR algorithm. Recommendations on future studies and use of the digital IR algorithm were recommended.



      • Consultations and co-authorship of a paper submitted to Weather and Forecasting Journal have been ongoing in cooperation with C. Velden and T. Olander of the NESDIS Advanced Satellite Products Team (ASPT) and Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) on the evaluation of the digital IR algorithm for tropical cyclone intensity estimates and development of new approaches to the problem.



    • New interaction with Forecast Products Development Team (FPDT) has been initiated to merge mesoscale clustering of satellite radiances into the production of operational sounding products.
  • NWS

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

    • Interaction continued with Ken Gould, NWS, Tallahassee on satellite climatology. Ken has been running summer sea-breeze climatologies for the past few years. Since Ken was unable to visit CIRA, Irv Watson, the Science and Operations Officer at Tallahassee, visited CIRA in August to view some new features in the climatology programs including the generation of the maximum and minimum imagery as well as the standard deviation. Visible imagery for June through August of 1996 was sent to Ken in September. Tallahassee will be provided with a 2 GB hard drive and RAMSDIS-X for their SOO-SAC HP-715 to do further analysis on the climatology data. The visible data set from last year as well as the 3.9 and 10.7 micrometer imagery have already been loaded on the system. Three-quarters of the regular RAMSDIS climatology averaging and display programs have been updated to run on the HP. When the remainder has been upgraded, the drive will be loaded with data from this year (1997) and shipped to Tallahassee.
    • Collaboration continued with the Dodge City Warning and Forecast Office (WFO). An outline for a journal paper evaluating GOES imaging intervals during the May 31, 1996 severe storm case study was created. An evaluation of the DDC GOES imagery and software in AWIPS build 2.1 was also conducted as a baseline for understanding the current data stream, software, and available products. Concurrent with the visit was the High Plains Modernization Workshop. This workshop contained research presentations from the area WFOs and resulted in new collaborative opportunities with the field offices.
    • Collaboration with the Alaska NWS Scientific Services Division on developing the “fog” and “reflectivity products for AVHRR began. These products will be developed for AVHRR data to provide the AK region similar to what is available from GOES in the lower 48 states. Collaboration is expected to continue as a COMET tutorial on the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites is developed.
    • Tony Mostek of COMET and Don Burgess of CIMMS met with Debra Molenar and Brian Motta to discuss the changing nature of the Focus on Integrated Remote Sensing Technology and Training (FIRSTT) program and to define future interactions.
    • Interaction with the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center (TPC/NHC) continues. This includes providing applications program software, consultations on use of satellite data, SRSO data, research discussions, and e-mail comments on real-time forecast situations to be incorporated into the TPC/NHC daily briefings. Both C. Vaughn and R. Zehr visited TPC/NHC in September. An invited daily weather briefing was given by R. Zehr, during the early stages of Hurricane Nora.
    • J. Weaver (RAMM/CIRA), Glenn Levy (City Emergency Manager), and B. Glancy (NWS) are working together to improve city/NWS information flow for future weather-related emergencies.
  • Miscellaneous

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

    • GOES-8 SRSO data, taken at 1-minute intervals, have been successfully transferred to the Weather Channel in near real-time utilizing CIRA’s real-time GOES ingest and a CIRA server. The GOES image loops were broadcast on The Weather Channel.
    • Examples of satellite imagery were sent to The Weather Channel for use in their series The Weather Classroom, which consists of episodes of 8-minute duration on topics of meteorology. Imagery sent to The Weather Channel included Hurricane Luis, a fog product case, a Lake Erie lake effect snow event, 30-second interval imagery, imagery of a tornadic thunderstorm, a full disk water vapor loop, daily water vapor images from the active 1995 hurricane season, pictures of NOAA’s polar orbiting and geostationary satellites, and visible images showing the suns rays on the earth on the two solstices and the spring equinox. RAMM staff members were involved in preparing material for various segments of the Weather Channel’s Weather Classroom.
    • USWRP PDT-5 on Hurricanes at Landfall. R Zehr continues to serve as a member of the Prospectus Development Team, Land falling Hurricanes, under the direction of Frank Marks (HRD).
    • Contributions to Natural Hazards Reduction Efforts of CEOS/IGOS. R. Zehr is contributing to the Tropical Cyclone Demonstration Project for CEOS/IGOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites/ Integrated Global Observing Strategy), which is directed by Helen Wood, NESDIS.
    • Brochures dealing with weather related safety issues were made available to the attendees at Hewlett-Packard’s safety day, August 20. Pictures of the Fort Collins flood and a tornado video were also displayed at the NOAA booth. The event drew over 350 attendees.
    • J. Weaver provided an overview of weather conditions that led to the Fort Collins flood of 28 July. Attendees included the Fort Collins Emergency Manager, the Emergency Response Review Team leader, and a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. J. Weaver participated in several meetings with city officials to review the Fort Collins flood, including the meteorology, city response, and information throughput.
    • Art Schwalb, formerly of NESDIS and currently affiliated with Mitretek, visited CIRA with a team of computer and meteorology staff. The team is developing data processing and applications specifications for the next generation polar orbiters. The team received a tour of the CIRA ground station and demonstrations of CIRA/RAMM satellite data processing requirements and research applications.

Technology Transfer and Training

  • Virtual Lab

    Virtual Lab (Phillips, Weaver, Zehr, Watson)

    • Two new datasets, with brief accompanying discussions, were introduced to the Virtual Laboratory’s inventory during the period. The first was a GOES-8 SRSO set of imagery over Hurricane Danny as it achieved landfall July 19, 1997. Later in this period, a presentation of 1-minute interval imagery from GOES-8, collected during the Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track Experiment (FASTEX) on February 5, 1997, was added.
    • The Team’s “Picture-of-the-Day” effort continued throughout the period. A variety of interesting and/or illustrative environmental events were presented on the web, with an emphasis on the observational perspective of the GOES Imager and Sounder.
    • The content of the Team’s tropical storm web pages, featuring a currently “interesting” tropical weather system, was improved greatly by including an automatically updating loop of the IR imagery over the system.
    • The 1-minute imagery with Hurricane Danny on July 19, 1997, along with a discussion and questions, has been included on the CIRA Virtual Lab. Danny was a small Category 1 hurricane, which moved very slowly onshore into Alabama.
  • Tutorials

    Tutorials (Phillips)

    • GOES 3.9 µm Channel Tutorial. The addition of a new section to the subject tutorial, that discussed the use of information from the 3.9 µm channel to observe and monitor volcanic ash plumes, was completed and distributed to current users.
    • Advanced GOES Image Analysis and Applications. Significant progress was made in the development of this new tutorial. Staff meteorologists identified suitable imagery examples to accompany their instructional text discussions of key image processing and analysis techniques available on the RAMMT’s RAMSDIS workstations. That imagery and associated text was then used to develop specific tutorial-based presentation displays.

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

    • Programming support was provided to the NWS Western Region to develop a program that would convert the AWIPS feed GOES Ingest NOAAPORT Interface (GINI) data to a McIDAS format for use on RAMSDIS systems.
    • Trouble shooting and software support was provided to the NWS Central Region Headquarters to get their RAMSDIS server is back on line after a disk problem. CRH sites are obtaining 7 ½ and 15-minute interval imagery from the server as well as Sounder derived products.
    • A server has been setup to ingest the Grid/Model Data files from NESDIS. This server’s main purpose is to provide Tropical RAMSDIS with the model data.
    • In preparation for the NESDIS’ server upgrade, a temporary server has been set up to serve the RAMSDIS sites. All sites has now been configured to ingest data from the temporary server.
    • Several new RAMSDIS programs have been created. GIFLOOP makes multiple gif files from images in a set loop bound. This eliminates the need to run multiple RAMGIF executions. PLAX and MAP2HT were developed to calculate satellite parallax and adjust for the parallax effect in satellite data cloud and ground relative locations. The software has been distributed to all field sites and to the NOAA research community. Help files for these programs and for SCTIME, which allows users to find the time that each line was scanned for 2-byte CSU McIDAS area files of GOES imagery, were also developed.
    • RAMSDIS-OS2 system software was upgraded for compatibility with McIDAS-OS2 7.2. Extensive software changes were necessary to maintain RAMSDIS display capabilities. Efforts are underway to make software changes necessary for distribution to the RAMM team and to the NWS field. Documentation on programming and command changes was prepared for staff. Targets have been set to insure that the upgrade will be distributed to field sites prior to the NESDIS server upgrade.
    • RAMSDIS-X and McIDAS-X 7.2 software upgrades have been installed on all RAMM HP’s.

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

    • CIRA met staff reviewed the new SatMet II CDROM-based training module.
    • A lecture on GOES satellites was presented during the COMAP course held at COMET.

    RMTC/WMO  (Connell, Vaughn)

    • Hourly Visible, 3.9, 6.7, and 10.7 micron imagery covering the Costa Rica sector for February through August were provided to Costa Rica for the development of satellite cloud climatologies.  Concurrently at CIRA, analysis of the data have begun.  Climatology programs were reviewed for computing the average, maximum and minimum radiance and updated for computing the standard deviation.  June imagery over Costa Rica have been averaged and the minimum and maximum statistics have been determined as well.  Examples of the Costa Rica imagery for the 3.9 and 6.7 micrometer imagery can be found on the Web at:  http://   and
    • The hard drive on the Costa Rica ingest system failed during this time period.  A replacement drive was loaded with the McIDAS and RAMSDIS software and shipped to Costa Rica.
    • Rosario Alfaro and Walter Fernandez drafted a paper on fires in northwest Costa Rica entitled “Detection of forest fires of April 1997 in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, using GOES-8 images.” Bernadette Connell reviewed and added comments to the paper and will be included as the 3rd author.
    • A data set containing Visible, 3.9, 6.7, and 10.7 imagery covering a heavy rain event that occurred along the Caribbean side of Costa Rica on 4-5 August 1997 was also sent to Costa Rica for review as a case study.
    • Interaction continues with the RMTC in Barbados.  As they do not have the internet capability to receive real-time imagery, efforts are made in other areas, which facilitate the RMTC in teaching interpretation and usage of the satellite imagery to the students at University of the West Indies in Barbados. Cases are made available on CIRA’s ftp server, which can be down-loaded at night when internet traffic is low.  Software, which will assist the RMTC in looking at satellite, as well as other types of data, has been shared and  installed on the Research RAMSDIS.  One such case, archived at CIRA, was imagery of Tropical Depression 5, in July of 1997.  TD-5 was one of the first major tropical waves of the ’97 Hurricane Season to pass directly over Barbados.
    • Data compilation and satellite data analysis for  the paper entitled Heavy Rainfall over the Southern Windward Islands -October 25-26, 1996 is proceeding.  Data were compiled from several different sources, including station reports from Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados and Hewanorra Airport and Vigie Airport on the island of St. Lucia, the latter two reporting between 180mm and 200mm of rainfall in an 6 hour period.  Since MD files were incomplete, data in SNYOP format were decoded and put into a text file for conversion to MD format.  Half-hourly satellite imagery from the storm has been analyzed using RAMSDIS applications such as average Imaging and Storm Relative.  A final draft of the paper will be ready for review in November or December of 1997.
    • Alternatives to real-time data ingest via the NESDIS server have been  explored  for the Barbados RMTC.  The feasibility of a “RAMSDIS On Line”  is being researched to see if it could be a substitute for sites like Barbados that do not have the dedicated data line to receive real-time  satellite imagery.
  • Training Given

    Training Given (Fryer)

    • C. Vaughn visited the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) September 15-19 to train users of RAMSDIS on the interpretation of global satellite imagery and the use of software for operations and joint research projects.
    • R. Zehr provided RAMSDIS training at the Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD), week of September 24.
    • D. Hillger trained Satellite Operations Control Center (SOCC) personnel on new RAMSDIS software, week of September 15.
  • Training Received

    Training Received (Fryer)

    • D. Molenar attended two Hewlett Packard training courses. One course focused on the integration of UNIX and NT workstations, another on HP network administration. The training will be utilized to implement a RAMM Team server for SRSO/RSO data collected at CIRA. Denver, CO, August 18-22. Dallas, TX, September 15-19.
    • H. Gosden attended a Hewlett Packard class on HP-UX 10.X Systems Administration in Denver, CO, July 28-August 1. The course provided useful information necessary to successfully manage the CIRA HP workstations.
    • R. Phillips attended a seminar, entitled “Planning for Retirement” presented by MASC Personal Benefits Services, in Boulder, CO, August 5-6, 1997.
    • J. Purdom attended DoD Demo Training in Boulder, CO, August 6.
  • RAMSDIS Online

    RAMSDIS Online (Watson)

    • RAMSDIS Online was released during the 4th quarter of 1997. It is a new web tool to view satellite data animation. RAMSDIS Online is a Javascript web page that lets you view any RAMSDIS ingest product. A RAMSDIS at CIRA automatically converts products from routine satellite ingest to GIF format and transfers them to a server. RAMSDIS Online has great potential as an additional training tool in the CIRA Virtual Lab environment.
    •  The current RAMSDIS Online provides GOES-9 data for the Western U.S. Development of a GOES-8 RAMSDIS Online link covering the Eastern U.S. is underway.
  • Publications

    Publications (Fryer)

    • Hillger, D.W., 1997: Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellites, July/August 1997 issue of Topical Time.
    • Motta, B.C. and John F. Weaver, 1997: Using WSR-88D radar data and 30-second interval GOES satellite imagery to examine apparent thunderstorm-top rotation observed on May 31, 1996. Proceedings of the 28th Conference on Radar Meteorology. 7-12 September, Austin, TX, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 544-546.
    • Purdom, J.F.W., 1997: Satellite meteorology applications: a demonstration project for Satellite Meteorology Applications focused Regional Meteorological Training Centers in Costa Rica and Barbados, World Meteorological Organization Bulletin, Vol. 46, No. 3, July 1997, 230-237.
  • Seminars/Presentations

    Seminars/Presentations (Fryer)

    • J. Weaver gave a presentation at Hewlett- Packard on July 1 about weather-related safety issues for workers at the large Fort Collins, CO plant.
    • J. Purdom was among the speakers at the 1997 UCAR/COMET Summer Workshop which focused on satellite meteorology, Boulder, CO, week of July 18.
    • J. Purdom participated a Department of Defense Center for Geosciences – Phase II Results Workshop, Pingree Park, CO, July 16 and 17.
    • E. Hilgendorf presented information on current and research grade products for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) to the RAMMT staff, July 24.
    • D. Hillger and E. Hilgendorf took part in the CIRA Ongoing Research Retreat, July 30 through August 1, at the Colorado State University mountain camp, Pingree Park. Don presented talks focusing on RAMMT proposals and activities. Eric gave a presentation on RAMMT plans for product development for quantitative precipitation estimation.
    • J. Purdom presented information at an Advanced Geosynchronous Studies Workshop at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, August 12 and 13.
    • D. Hillger presented the CIRA/RAMMT’s ongoing activities and FY98 plans at the GIMPAP Annual Review, Washington, D.C., August 26.
    • B. Motta and K. Winston attended the AMS 28th Conference on Radar Meteorology, Austin, TX, September 8-12. B. Motta presented a paper which he co-authored with J. Weaver.
    • D. Hillger represented the RAMM Team at the ARAD Retreat, Madison WI, September 10 and 11.
    • B. Motta attended the High Plains Modernization Workshop at the NWSFO, Dodge City, KS, September 15-19.


  • Data Infrastructure

    Data Infrastructure (Watson, Smith)

    • Data support and collection was provided for these projects: Severe Storms – (6) cases including (1) 1-minute case Tropical – (6) cases including (4) 1-minute cases
  • Administration

    Administration (Molenar, Fryer, Grasso, Phillips)

    • Two draft proposals were submitted to the NOAA High Performance Computing Committee. The proposals covered plans to share special CIRA data sets with other NOAA labs via high speed dedicated lines and plans to develop RAMSDIS Online interactive Web training capabilities via Internet phone.
    • RAMM staff submitted input to NESDIS/ORA management for 97 Accomplishments, 98 goals and 98 travel.
  • Hardware/Software

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

    • Extensive hardware upgrades and new technology were added to RAMM hardware resources. This includes state of the art workstations, tape changers to improve data archive efficiency, additional memory and disk drives, new color printers, CDROM writers and network upgrades.


  • Travel

    Travel (Fryer)


    Team Member
      Purdom, J.   Washington, D.C.   NPOES/BAFO Review     7/14 & 15 
      Gosden, H.    Denver, CO    Hewlett Packard Class    7/28 to 8/1 
      Winston, K.   Norman, OK    Housing Trip    8/1 to 6 
      Zehr, R.   Washington, D.C.   SAB Visit     8/3 to 6
      Purdom, J.   Washington, D.C.    Workshop at NASA/GSFC     8/11 to 14 
      Molenar, D.    Denver, CO    Hewlett Packard Class    8/17 to 22 
      Purdom, J.    Washington, D.C.   Satellite Products Review    8/19 to 22
      Purdom, J.    Washington, D.C.   GIMPAP Annual Review     8/25 to 28
      Hillger, D.    Washington, D.C.    GIMPAP Annual Review     8/25 to 28
      Motta, B.    Austin, TX    28th Radar Conference     9/6 to 12 
      Winston, K.   Austin, TX   28th Radar Conference    9/6 to 12
      Hillger, D.    Madison, WI    ARAD Retreat, SSEC, UW     9/10 & 11 
      Winston, K.    Norman, OK   Relocation     9/13 
      Hillger, D.   Washington, D.C.    SOCC Training    9/14 to 21 
      Vaughn, C.    Miami, FL   RAMSDIS Training    9/14 to 27 
      Molenar, D.   Dallas, TX    Hewlett Packard Class    9/15 to 18 
      Motta, B.   Dodge City, KS    High Plains Workshop    9/15 to 19
      Zehr, R.   Miami, FL    NHC, HRD Visit    9/24 to 30