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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 4th Quarter FY01

Meteorological


  • Severe Storms

    Weaver, Dostalek, Grasso, Bikos, Coleman

    Responses to the final reviewer comments on “A Satellite Perspective of the 3 May 1999 Great Plains Tornado Outbreak” by Dan Bikos, John Weaver and Brian Motta were completed and the paper has been returned to the editor of Weather and Forecasting, along with publication quality copies of the figures.  The paper will appear some time in 2002 in a special issue dedicated to the May 3rd event.
     

         Figure 1.  GOES-derived wind fields for 18:00 UTC on May 3, 1999.   Black barbs represent the 100 to 250 mb layer, cyan barbs the 251to 350 mb layer, and yellow barbs the 351-500 mb layer.  Wind speeds are in knots.  Figure illustrates the jet streak that played a critical role in setting up the devastating tornado outbreak in Central Oklahoma and south central Kansas on this day.  Click on image to enlarge.

    A manuscript documenting part of the material being taught by VISIT is being drafted.  It will be titled, “Lightning Meteorology I:  Distance-Learning Training on the Use of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Data in the Short Range Forecast and Nowcasting Processes,” and will be co-authored by Bard Zajac (CIRA) and John Weaver (NOAA).  The article is a review of general CG lightning meteorology with an accent on its usage in the forecast/nowcast environment, and is being written for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

    A poster entitled “Left moving thunderstorms in a high Plains, weakly-sheared environment” was created.  The focus was the thunderstorm outbreak that occurred in western Texas on May 25, 1999.  The poster was presented by J. Dostalek at CIRA’s annual Pingree Park Retreat and at the American Meteorological Society’s 18th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    Figure 2.  Printable version of a poster on severe left-moving thunderstorms by Weaver, Dostalek, Phillips and Grasso.  Click on image to enlarge.

    Work continues on establishing an RSO data archive.  An EXCEL spreadsheet listing that includes satellite name, date and times of RSO, the location, agency and reason for the call, and what severe weather occurred during the collection is complete through October 2000.  There are over 700 dates listed so far.  Eleven  of the most significant cases have been selected from the list, and the first has been transferred to CD-ROM.  Case dates are being selected by Weaver and Bikos.

    The final version of a web-based teaching module entitled “Urban Flooding: It can Happen in a Flash” has been produced by COMET.  The module was put together by Wendy Schreiber-Abshire and Matt Kelsh (COMET) and J. Weaver (NOAA/NESDIS).  The module is designed to take about an hour to complete.  It is based on the Fort Collins flood, and contains text, graphics photos and audio components.  The final version can be seen at:
    http://meted.ucar.edu/qpf/urbanf/index1.htm

     


  • Tropical Cyclones

    DeMaria, Zehr, Knaff, Dostalek

    The real-time processing of AMSU data over tropical cyclones occurring in the east Pacific and Atlantic tropical cyclone basins has been upgraded to collect real-time data using input from the new version of the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting system (ATCF).  Using the Navy’s version of the ATCF, efforts are underway to incorporate Northwest Pacific and Indian Ocean tropical cyclones in this processing.  In a similar effort, NOAA 16 data and algorithms to determine the intensity and wind structure of tropical cyclones using these AMSU data are being integrated into the real-time processing.   Look for these changes in the near future.  Current analyses can be seen at

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/tropic/amsustrm.asp

    The tropical rainfall potential (TRaP) products, which integrate the rain rate along the official forecast track of a tropical cyclone track continues. This product provides the forecaster estimates of rainfall potential given two assumptions: that the rainfall rates persist, and the track forecast is good.  Processing these products is done in real-time and shared with NOAA’s Satellite Analysis Branch.  Efforts are underway to create real-time web pages displaying these informative products.  Updates and improvements this quarter include, 1) the use of the Navy’s tracks for the Northwest Pacific and Indian Ocean and 2) the active collaboration with both the Satellite Analysis Branch, and the NESDIS/ARAD Hydrology Team in the assessment and verification efforts.
     

            Figure 1.  Example of the output from this product (rain rate, four 6-hourly rainfall estimates, and a 24-hour total) for Tropical Storm Allison, which made landfall in east Texas on 6 June.  
    Click on image to enlarge.

    The vertical shear and its relation to intensity change, and satellite observed cloud asymmetry was analyzed for Tropical Storm Chantal.  The preliminary study showed details of the vertical shear velocity changes and vertical distribution of the average wind over a 444 km radius circle centered on the tropical storm using initial analyses of  two operational global models.  Tropical Storm Chantal was observed as it transitioned from an environment with easterly shear to one with southwesterly shear.

    Jack Dostalek provided programming support for the development of a new program that computes and plots a vertical profile average wind from McIDAS grid point files according to user specified center location, and dimensions of a circle or ring.  This is an improvement over previous software because of its versatility of handling input formats, graphic display, and output to a text file. The program was run for most time periods (initial model analysis at 12-hour interval) using a 444 km radius circle, during the life cycle of recent Atlantic Hurricanes Erin, Felix, and a few analyses of Hurricane Gabrielle.  The output data sets have been saved are currently being analyzed.

    The updated version of the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Forecast (SHIFOR) created at CIRA, which generates intensity forecasts of Atlantic and Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones based upon past climatology (1967-1999) and persistence has been installed at the National Hurricane Center and has been creating these forecasts for the entire hurricane season.  A publication is being prepared discussing the details of these forecasts.  Plots of error and biases calculated using this model are shown in Figures 2 and 3, respectively for the 1995-2000 period.  Note these statistics were compiled using operational input and that only the year 2000 was a truly independent sample.  Click on images to enlarge.
     

    Figure 2.   Intensity forecast errors created by SHIFOR and persistence forecasts during the 1995-2000 test period.

       

    Figure 3.   Intensity forecast biases created by SHIFOR and persistence forecasts during the 1995-2000 test period.

    The development and delivery to the Naval Research Lab, Monterey of the Statistical Typhoon Intensity Forecast 5-Day (STIFOR5D) is complete.  Errors and Biases for this model are shown in Figures 4 and 5, respectively.  Also, notable is this model’s (ST5D) ability in a homogeneous test verses its predecessor (CLIP) and the official Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) forecast shown in Figure 6.  This simple model developed for verification and forecast purposes has been installed in the Navy’s version of the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting system (ATCF) and has been making forecasts since July.  A publication is being prepared discussing the details of this model.
     

    Figure 4.   Intensity forecast errors created by STIFOR and persistence forecasts during the 1998-2000 test period.

       

    Figure 5.  Intensity forecast biases created by STIFOR and persistence forecasts during the 1998-2000 test period.

     

           Figure 6.  Homogeneous forecast errors for storms with intensities greater than 14 knots calculated the period 1998-2000 for STIFOR 5-d (ST5D), initialized with operational input (semi-independent), STIFOR (CLIP), and the official JTWC forecasts.  Note that ST5D is driven with operation input and verified verses the post analyzed best track.

    An effort has begun to understand the relationships between overshooting convective towers in the eyewall region and changes in the near tropopause winds using several cases of super rapid scan imager data over hurricanes that have been compiled.

    The project by J. Knaff, J. Kossin, M. DeMaria, and V. Larson to document what appears to be a subclass of tropical cyclones termed “annular hurricanes” or “doughnut hurricanes” continues. The documentation of these hurricanes, which are symmetric with little or little outer rainband activity, and have large eyes, is being prepared for publication.  See past quarterly reports for greater detail.

    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.

    The tropical cyclone genesis parameter web site has been activated for the 2001 hurricane season:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/gparm/genesis.asp

    A routine that converts grib data to a packed ASCII format was written for use with the Navy’s NOGAPS (Naval Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System) model.  The data will be used to develop a statistical intensity forecast model for West Pacific tropical storms.

    Aviation model (AVN) data for the West Pacific (in addition to the Atlantic) is now converted from grib format to packed ASCII format.

    A draft of a paper for journal submission, “Three Approaches to Quantitative Observations of Environmental Vertical Wind Shear with Hurricane Bertha” was completed.  It is currently in internal review with final revisions underway.

    New images from the 2001 Hurricane Season are being added to the CIRA IR archive, as well as some Southern Hemisphere and early season western Pacific cases.  As of September 1, 2001, there are approximately 180 tropical cyclones in the archive, with over 44,000 images on 25 CDs.  Images are extracted from the 4 km resolution Mercator remaps archived by Tropical RAMSDIS.  All images are reviewed for quality and if necessary re-sectorized.  Matt McClurg (CIRA hourly) continues to provide support in saving Tropical RAMSDIS images to CD, and assisting with data processing.

    A simple tropical cyclone rain estimation model based upon climatology and persistence (R-CLIPER) has been installed at the National Hurricane Center.  The R-CLIPER model will be used as a bench mark for evaluating more general rainfall forecast models.

  • Natural Hazards

    Weaver, Connell, Hillger

    B. Connell attended an international workshop on the Remote Sensing of Volcanic Clouds at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, July 29-August 3, 2001.  The overall workshop goal was to improve and expand the use of satellite-based remote sensing data for hazard mitigation and other research purposes such as volcano/atmosphere interactions, chemical and meteorological effects on the troposphere and stratosphere.  The workshop format was part lecture and part hands-on labs working with actual data sets.  Terrascan software was used on UNIX hardware to view the imagery.

    J. Weaver made the PowerPoint presentation that he uses for severe weather training available to Hewlett-Packard.  They put the presentation on their in-house, emergency preparedness intranet website for employees.

    Two manuscripts on MODIS applications for volcanic ash were submitted by D. Hillger to the Journal of Applied Meteorology.  In the first manuscript the MODIS bands of most importance for ash detection were determined, with implications for GOES-R in 2008.  In the second manuscript MODIS data were used to simulate the impact of the change from 12 um to the 13.3 um band with GOES-12.

Applications Development


  • Climatology

    Connell, Combs

    The Summer Sea Breeze Climatology project for northern Florida finished it’s sixth season this August.  The purpose of the project is to create a wind regime-based sea breeze cloud frequency climatology designed to aid forecasters in predicting the timing and extent of convection under various background wind regimes. Ken Gould with the NWS in Tallahassee, Florida is the focal point for regime designation in Florida.  Imagery are archived at CIRA for future processing.  The data collection and regime designation ran from June through August.

    A manuscript on the Sea Breeze Climatology, 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, has been accepted for publication in 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.

    Processing of the U.S. climatologies continues more or less on schedule.  Products completed include monthly large sector composites for June, July and August 2001, and wind regime composites for May, June and July 2001.  Monthly wind regime composites covering the past four years has been completed for June and July 2001.  Four year May composites have been postponed due to lack of student help for the past three months.

    The final report for the Wakefield Satellite Climatology project has been completed and sent to COMET.  This report will eventually be posted on the COMET website. In addition, a manuscript for an AMS Satellite Conference poster covering the Wakefield project was submitted.

  • Mesoscale Modeling

    Grasso, Weaver

    A new project is underway to simulate thunderstorms that initialize with ‘bubbles’ of different intensity within the same environment. Initial results show that relative intensities tend to remain the same in the absence of outside influences. The next step will be to allow the weaker storm of the pair to interact with small-scale features to learn whether the storm strengthens and remains strong following the interaction.  

    The Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) was used to simulate a thunderstorm to provide input for a Radiative Transfer Model (RTM). Simulated GOES channel four brightness temperatures diagnosed from the RTM will be used as input to the NESDIS AutoEstimator (AE) rainfall algorithm.  Derived rain rates from the AE will be compared to simulated rain rates from RAMS.  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.

    http://procyon.cira.colostate.edu/ORAIntranet/Weeklies/teams/cira/archive/2001/wk35/wk35.htm

Outside Interaction


  • National Labs

    Motta, Zehr

    A statistical typhoon intensity forecasting scheme, called STIFOR5D, which utilizes climatology and persistence to produce forecasts out to 120 hours was supplied to B. Sampson at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey CA.  This is in partial fulfillment of grant received from the Navy to develop a Statistical Typhoon Intensity Prediction System (STIPS).  STIFOR5D is being used as both an operational and verification tool at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii.  Future interaction will make the Statistical Typhoon Intensity Prediction Scheme (STIPS), which utilizes forecast synoptic conditions in addition to climatology and persistence to make forecasts, operational within the Navy’s suite of hurricane forecasting models.

    A pair of updated statistical hurricane intensity forecasting schemes, one for the East Pacific and another for the Atlantic, (known as SHIFOR), which utilizes climatology and persistence to produce forecasts out to 120 hours was supplied to J. Gross at the National Hurricane Center.  This is in fulfillment of grant received from the Insurance Friends of the National Hurricane Center to develop such models.   SHIFOR is being used as both an operational and verification tool at the National Hurricane Center for the 2001 hurricane seasons.

  • Universities

    Zehr, Grasso, Weaver, Motta

    D. Hillger participated in several review meetings as an outside CSU faculty member for Tomoko Koyama, a Master’s degree candidate of Dr. T.H. Vonder Haar.

    Daily Hurricane Briefings: The daily hurricane briefings began with the active part of the Atlantic hurricane season.  The discussions are held at 3:00 pm 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 have contributed this year as first-time discussion leaders.

    J. Weaver, D. Bikos, J. Dostalek, D. Hillger, and B. Motta attended the annual CIRA Science Retreat at Colorado State University’s Pingree Park mountain campus.  Presentations focused on radiative transfer modeling and on severe thunderstorm efforts at CIRA.  RAMM Team members participated in breakout sessions on both topics.   There was also a 30-minute briefing by Erik Rasmussen (NSSL/Boulder office) on the upcoming International H2O Project, known by its acronym as IHOP.  J. Weaver was put in-charge of organizing the severe weather presentation.

    J. Weaver is working with Nolan Doesken (Colorado Climate Center, CSU) to begin 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. 

    B. Motta responded to an inquiry by Christian Page of the Universite du Quebec a Montreal regarding enhancement tables for GOES imagery.  An e-mail was sent to Christian and the larger Unidata community with pointers to NESDIS ORA, CIRA, and CIMSS sites with relevant tutorials and enhancement table files.

  • Other NESDIS

    Molenar, Hillger

    R. Weldon from the NESDIS Forecast Products Development Team visited CIRA to collaborate on tropical cyclone research. He met with several RAMM Team members to discuss mutual research interests and possible contributions to training activities, and gave a seminar entitled “The Use of Water Vapor Imagery for Tropical Cyclone Forecasting.”

    D. Hillger and B. Motta participated in a COMET Executive Board pre-briefing teleconference to brief Mary Glackin on the RAMM team’s involvement in training activities at COMET and with the VISIT project. Among the items discussed were strategic planning, NESDIS/NWS interactions, and the best use of training resources in an era of tremendous growth in the satellite community.  Satellite programs covered included GOES, POES, and NPOESS.

  • NWS

    Weaver, Dostalek, Motta

    B. Motta participated in a conference call with J. LaDue of the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch regarding the plans for use of the Warning Event Simulator (WES). The WES is the new name for Displaced Real-Time case studies. Discussions included short and long term plans for WES and its eventual use with training exercises in a VISITview format (recorded, synchronized, etc.).

    B. Motta reviewed a presentation by Preston Leftwich of the NWS Central Region Headquarters Scientific Services Division on the use of Probability Of Precipitation (POP) guidance by forecasters. The presentation covers the use of the Brier and Skill scores and smart use of POP measures to improve precipitation forecast verification statistics.

    The following interactions between CIRA/RAMM researchers and NWS forecasters took place in regard to various projects:  J. Dostalek and J. Weaver with Loren Phillips LBB (NWS), D. Bikos 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.

  • International Activities

    Connell, Dostalek, Knaff, Watson

    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:

    Raw AMSU brightness temperatures, limb corrected brightness temperatures, and temperature retrievals were prepared for K. Beshho of the Japanese Meteorological Agency for comparison with Aerosonde data collected during the BIAU Hunter 2001 field experiment, 11 July – 28 July 2001.  It is hoped that this exchange of information will continue promoting future collaborations.

     


    Mitch Reconstruction Project:
     

         Figure 1.  Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new GOES-8 satellite ingest system and server installed at the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional in San José, Costa Rica in July, 2001.  On the left: Gregory Withee – NOAA/NESDIS Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, on the right: Iván Vincenti – Minister of Energy and the Environment.  Directly behind on the left: Guy de Téramond – Minister of Science and Technology; on the right: Linda Jewel Special -acting Chargé d’Affaires with the US Embassy in Costa Rica.  Click on image to enlarge.

    A satellite ground station and data server was installed at the Instituto Meteorological Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica during the week July 21-25 by Global Imaging.  During the same period, a RAMSDIS workstation was installed at IMN by Hiro Gosden of CIRA.  In preparation for a ribbon cutting ceremony at IMN on July 26, a briefing was provided to the NESDIS Assistant Administrator (Gregory Withee) on the status of the NESDIS contribution to the Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Project. The discussion was lead by M. DeMaria (by Video Teleconference)

    RAMSDIS workstations were installed in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  Although travel by RAMM Team staff was canceled due to recent travel restrictions, Dr. Vilma Castro from U. Costa Rica who had been working with RAMM Team on this project was able to travel to El Salvador and Honduras to complete the installation.  Arrangements are currently being made to complete the installation in the final two (Panama and Belize) of the seven countries involved in this project.

    A meeting was held on July 13 with Dr. Konstantine Georgakakos and Jason Sperfslage from the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) in San Diego to discuss cooperative projects in Costa Rica. HRC is developing a flood alert system for Central America, which requires estimates of 1, 3 and 6, and 24-hour accumulated precipitation estimates. Plans were made to provide these estimates from the version of the auto-estimator that will be running in Costa Rica as part of the NESDIS Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction project.

    A briefing on the NESDIS contribution Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Project was provided to representatives from a branch of the Dole Corporation located in Honduras on August 3. The satellite data and products that will be available in the region were described, and the potential usefulness to their agriculture operations in Honduras and Costa Rica was discussed. The possibility of obtaining historical rain gauge data that is collected as part of their operations was also discussed. They are willing to provide NESDIS with this data to help refine satellite rainfall estimation techniques for the region.

    Janice Sessing from the NESDIS Office of Interagency and International Affairs visited RAMM Team on August 10th. She discussed the hurricane Mitch project, and the possibility of future national and international collaborations. Several RAMM Team staff members provided an overview of current RAMM Team activities.

    Clay Davenport, ARAD, Hydrology Team, visited the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team (RAMMT) from August 27-30 to install the Rainfall Autoestimator software.  The software will also be installed on the Hurricane Mitch server in Costa Rica once RAMMT staff are trained in its installation & use.

     


    SICA Project:

    This project is funded by USAID through SICA (System of Integration for Central America).   The dissemination of satellite rainfall products and fire products through the web site at:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/SICA/main.html

    compliments the ingest systems that are becoming operational in the Central American countries.  A link to cloud frequencies by IR temperature threshold technique for June, July, and August of 2000, and June of 2001 was recently added at:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/SICA/clim/menuclim.html

     


    RMTC Project:

    GOES-8 imagery for June 2001 through August, 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.  The monthly cloud frequency composites for June – August 1997-2001 by 10.7 mm temperature threshold technique for Costa Rica is presented in Figure 1.  Click on images to enlarge.
     

          Figure 1.  Monthly cloud frequency composites for June – August 1997-2001 by 10.7 um temperature threshold technique for Costa Rica.         Figure 2.  Comparison of cloud frequency derived by temperature threshold of 10.7 um imagery for June – August of 1998 – 2001 for Barbados.

    A preprint paper entitled “Mesoscale satellite climatologies in Costa Rica” by B. Connell and V. Castro was sent to the AMS for the Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography Conference to be held in Madison, WI. in October, 2001.

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

    Selvin and Horace Burton from the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology in Barbados visited CIRA August 13-17 to continue to promote interaction between the RMTC in Barbados and CIRA.  During the visit, much effort went into completing the St. Lucia heavy rainfall case (see Figure 3 for inclusion in the WMO Virtual Lab database).  Satellite climatology cloud frequency results were also analyzed and an outline of a journal article was completed.
     

        Figure 3.  GOES-8 average 10.7 um image covering the period 12:15 – 18:15 UTC on October 26, 1996 when St. Lucia received 250mm (10 inches) of rain.  Click on image to enlarge.

  • Miscellaneous

    Fryer


    J. Weaver re-reviewed the following papers this quarter: “OK-FIRST: An example of Successful collaboration between Meteorology and Public Safety on 3 May 1999,” for Weather and Forecasting; “Taking shelter: Estimating the safety benefits of safe rooms,” for Weather and Forecasting; and “Synoptic regulation of the 3 May 1999 tornado outbreak,” also for Weather and Forecasting.  The reviewers’ responses were all satisfactory.

    A manuscript on physical retrieval of atmospheric profiles and surface temperature/emissivity from MODIS intended for Applied Optics was reviewed and returned to the editor.


    Meetings/Conferences:
     

    Traveler (s) Destination Meetings/Conferences Funding Dates Trip Reports
    B. Motta
    J. Dostalek
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 18 Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction  VISIT
    GIMPAP
    Jul 29-
    Aug 2
     Motta
    Report
     Dostalek Report
    M. DeMaria
    L. Grasso
    Boulder, CO Science Advisory Board of the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF)   Aug 15  

    Visitors:
     

    Visitor(s) 
    Date of 
    Visit
    Affiliation RAMMT Contact
    Janice Sessing August 10 NOAA International Affairs M. DeMaria
    Selvin Burton
    Horace Burton
    August 13-17 Caribbean Meteorological Institute B. Connell
    Clay Davenport August 28-30 NESDIS/ORA D. Molenar
    Roger Weldon September 21 NESDIS/ORA/ARAD/FPDT M. DeMaria

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    Connell, Molenar

    A meeting of an International Satellite Data Utilization and Training Focus Group was held at the European Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT) Agency in Darmstadt, Germany, 16-18 May 2001. This meeting was organized by the World Meteorological Organization, and included representatives from NOAA/NESDIS and the international satellite community (including NOAA/NESDIS sponsored participants Vilma Castro and Selvin Burton from the RMTCs in Costa Rica and Barbados).  A decision was made at this meeting to establish a Virtual Laboratory (VL) to foster the international exchange of satellite data and training material. For this purpose, web servers will be established at EUMETSAT, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Melbourne, Australia and at CIRA in Fort Collins, CO.  The proposal “Development of an International Workstation Network to Foster Collaborative Satellite Research, Data Utilization and Training” was submitted to  NOAA/NESDIS to purchase and configure the necessary hardware and software, coordinate the initial VL development with EUMETSAT and BOM, and to provide software support for the first year of the project.

    B. Motta participated in a test of internet-delivered audio in combination with interactive RAMSDIS Online and VISITview presentations for the Computer-Aided-Learning in Meteorology Conference being held in Brazil.  Other participants were from Boulder, CO,  Germany, Switzerland, and Barbados.  F. Holt and J. Purdom also observed parts of this conference presentation/demonstration.

Field Experiments


  • GOES-M Science Test

    Hillger, Knaff, Weaver

    Six test schedules for GOES-12 have been finalized and are posted on the web at:
     
    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/goesm/test_schedules.htm

    Science Tests began on September 23 and will continue through October 27.  The primary focus of the tests will be on the effect on GOES Imager products with the change to the new band-6 at 13.3 Fm, replacing band-5 at 12.0 um, as well as higher spatial resolution for the water vapor band.  Conference calls between CIRA, CIMSS, and the NOAA Science Center will be conducted Monday thru Friday during the Science Tests to determine the particular schedule to implement each day.

    A RAMSDIS system has been set up to display GOES-12 Science Test data throughout the period which runs from September 23 – October 27.  Images are being made available on RAMSDIS Online at

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/rmsdsol/goes12main.html

    A report on the GOES-11 Science Tests was finalized together with co-editors Jaime Daniels and Tim Schmit.  The report is to be published as a NOAA Technical Report.

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.

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

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

  • Satellite Interpretation Discussion

    Staff

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver released a Satellite Interpretation Discussion page covering a tornado that occurred in North Dakota on July 18, 2001.  This presentation can be viewed at:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/picoday/10727/010727.htm

    A satellite Interpretation Discussion on the Regional Monthly (June-August) Satellite Cloud Climatologies for Tallahassee, Florida can be found at:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/picoday/010829/010829.html

  • RAMSDIS

    Molenar, Connell, Dostalek, Gosden, Hillger, Watson

    Several improvements to the tropical RAMSDIS unit at CIRA were implemented.  Included were:  1) improvements in the software that generates the “floater” loops, 2) an update to the image archive process, 3) changes in the software that creates the storm relative loops, 4) changes in the plotting of ship and surface data onto satellite images, 5) a new routine for automatically plotting data onto satellite imagery, 6) the creation of a program which utilizes model output to calculate the vertical profile of the mean wind over a user defined area and outputs relevant information to the screen (see Figure 1), and 7) improvements to a program which computes cloud top temperature asymmetries in tropical cyclones/hurricanes.
     

          Figure 1.  Vertical profile of the mean wind over Hurricane Juliette calculated from model output.  Click on image to enlarge.
     

    RAMMT system upgrades – Upgrades on RAMMT systems have continued this quarter.  Systems are being upgraded from older Windows NT/Windows 98 to Windows 2000.  Also some older hardware has been upgraded including RAM, disk space, and tape drives.

    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.

    Support for the NWS Field RAMSDIS units was formally terminated on August 1.  Efforts are underway to determine requirements for conversion of existing NESDIS Field systems to RAMSDIS-W2K.

    Significant improvements to Tropical RAMSDIS were implemented with CIRA staff support.   All image products are now being saved to CD.  A new more efficient image archive program was installed.  A new product for combined visible/ Channel 2 animation was implemented for both the large scale and the 4km resolution sectors.  The storm relative program for 1 km visible and IR average imaging was improved.  The program to move floating sectors was modified to reload displayed images to the new location, for better looping continuity.  Scatterometer, satellite winds, and several objective analyses are also being saved for future research projects.  The reliability of this year’s Tropical RAMSDIS with respect to outages, both due to NESDIS server and local PC problems, has improved a great deal.

  • AWIPS Development/FSL Interaction

    Molenar, Bikos

    An attempt was made to upgrade the RAMM experimental AWIPS  workstation software to D2D version 5.0 to improve compatibility with NWS field versions.  The display portion of the upgrade functioned well, but the ingest portion needs further work from FSL.  The current plan is to restore D2D 4.2.4 on the ingest system, and attempt to add additional products from Kevin Schrab to that version, with a recommendation to upgrade the case study workstations to 5.0 as soon as possible.

  • VISIT

    Motta, Bikos, Zajac, Weaver, Zehr

    Development work and review continued, on a new VISIT session,  “Subtropical Cyclones.”  It includes satellite intensity analysis, subtropical cyclone climatology, and structure differences from tropical cyclones. R. Zehr and B. Motta developed the training with input from TPC.  The session is nearly complete, and has been significantly upgraded from the original version with inclusion of new data sets.

    Bikos, Weaver and Motta developed a new teletraining session titled “Mesoscale Analysis of Convective Weather using GOES RSO Imagery.”  The first session was given on July 24 and as of September 21 there have been 7 of these sessions delivered.  Of the 7 sessions delivered so far, 149 students at 40 NWS offices have participated.

    CIRA VISIT staff participated in conference calls regarding the upcoming workshop on winter storms, general project information, and future directions in training development. One of the new requests from the project sponsor is to add recorded audio to developed and future training sessions.

    B. Motta and B. Zajac tested the audio capabilities available for recording audio and annotations for VISIT training sessions.  Two systems have been identified as possibilities for making recordings.

    B. Motta comprehensively reviewed the recorded VISIT training session on Sounder Data and Products by Scott Bachmeier, Gary Wade, and Gail Bayler. This version of the lesson, based on the VISIT teletraining session, allows users to hear the narrated instruction, see the slide annotations/pointings, and start/stop the training as desired.  Additional plans for distribution and generating metrics are in development.

    B. Motta participated in conference calls directed at defining a Winter Weather Professional Development Series Outline for the NWS.  From this outline, key aspects of training will be selected for one Winter Weather training workshop to be held at COMET.

    During this quarter 49 VISIT teletraining sessions have been delivered, with 774 students from 228 NWS offices participating.

    A training certificate of completion is sent out to participants who return student evaluation forms.  The following graph shows the total number of certificates issued since we started this in April 1999.  The rapid increase in 2001 is the most notable feature.

    The below tabulation shows the number of VISIT teletraining sessions by course title, sessions, number of NWS offices and number of individuals that have been awarded certificates since April 1999.

    IST PDS/VISIT Teletraining Sessions Summary
    April 1999 through September 25, 2001

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

    Staff

    D. Hillger and B. Motta participated in a COMET Executive Board teleconference to brief Mary Glackin on the RAMM team’s involvement in training activities at COMET and with the VISIT project. Among the items discussed were strategic planning, NESDIS/NWS interactions, and the best use of training resources in an era of tremendous growth in the satellite community.  Satellite programs covered included GOES, POES, and NPOESS.

    B. Motta participated in a conference call with COMET and WDTB to discuss building cases for the Warning Event Simulator.  A few cases will be created by the WDTB from those used in current Warning Decision Making workshops. Other possible cases for FY02 include a winter storm case.  The instruction related to the cases was also discussed.

    J. Weaver designed a COMET presentation on using satellite data in the Warning Decision Making Process.  The presentation was taught four times this fiscal year as a part of the COMET, weeklong WDM class.

  • Community Outreach

    Weaver, Knaff, Connell

    J. Weaver gave a three-hour presentation at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs on the problem of trying to pull order from chaos during, and after, a natural disaster.  The talk was one of a series of invited presentations given as part of an undergraduate class called “Social Aspects of Natural Disasters.”  There were 45 attendees.

    J. Knaff and J. Weaver prepared and delivered multiple presentations discussing Hurricanes and Severe Weather, respectively, for Colorado State University’s Kids in College program.  Presentations lasted about one hour each.

    J. Weaver gave presentations on spotter training and safety aspects of severe weather at all four Hewlitt-Packard plants in Colorado (Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Colorado Springs).  His PowerPoint presentation was transferred to the HP intranet website.

    J. Weaver continues as the NOAA representative on the City of Fort Collins Office of Emergency Management.  His goal is to assure that weather information is utilized as a potential mitigation tool.  The Office of Emergency Management is now composed of two full-time staffers and three volunteers.  This past year Weaver sat on three ad hoc committees, furnished written and electronic material, and gave several briefings.  He added a copious amount of material to the City of Fort Collins OEM Website.

    J. Weaver assisted the Discovery Channel in taping a segment in a program focused on unusual consequences of natural disasters, and the Weather Channel in creating a segment on the Fort Collins flood of 28 July 1997 for an “Atmospheres” program focusing on flash floods.

  • Publications

    Fryer

    Published:

    Grasso, L.D., E.R. Hilgendorf, 2001: Observations of a severe left moving thunderstorm. Weather and Forecasting, 16:4, 500-511.

    Motta, B.C., R.H. Grumm, A. Mostek, 2001: Model Trends and Satellite Imagery in Forecasting.  18 Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and the 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction,  29 July-2 August, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 232-234.

    Prins, E., J. Schmetz, L.P. Flynn, D.W. Hillger, and J.M. Feltz, 2001: An overview of diurnal active fire monitoring using a suite of international geostationary satellites. Global and Regional Vegetation Fire Monitoring: Planning a Coordinated International Effort, (F.J. Ahern, J.G. Goldammer, and C.O. Justice, Editors), SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands, 145-170.

    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., 208-213.
     

    To Submitted

    Accepted:

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Submitted:

    Back to the top

    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.

    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.

    Dostalek, J.F., and T.J. Schmit, 2001: Total precipitable water measurements from GOES Sounder derived product
    imagery. Weather and Forecasting.

    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., 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Weaver, J.F., J.F. Dostalek, L. Phillips, 2001: Left-moving thunderstorms in a high plains, weakly-sheared environment. Weather and Forecasting, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    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.

  • Training

    Fryer

    Received:

    Participant Dates Place Course
    D. Hillger   9/12 Colorado State University How to Design a Website that Works 
    RAMMT Staff 8/27-30 CIRA Autoestimator Software Installation for Mitch Support 

    Given:

    Participant Dates Place Course/Talk
    M. DeMaria 8/13 Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Monterey, CA Tropical Cyclone Applications of GOES and POES Data
    M. DeMaria 7/25 Congressional Briefing
    Washington. DC
    Hurricanes at Landfall
  • RAMMT/CIRA Internal Presentations

    Fryer


    Date  Presentor    Topic 
     9/21
    R. Weldon The Use of Water Vapor Imagery for Tropical Cyclone Forecasting
    8/17
    H. Burton Activities at the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology
    8/1
    R. Edson Recent findings in the operational use of microwave data (TRMM, SSM/I, and Scatterometer) as related to tropical cyclone forecasting
    7/19
    L. Grasso Observations of a Severe Left Moving Thunderstorm

Infrastructure


  • Systems Administration

    Molenar, Gosden

    Upgrades on RAMMT systems have continued this quarter.  Systems are being upgraded from older Windows NT/Windows 98 to Windows 2000.  Also some older hardware has been upgraded including RAM, disk space, and tape drives.

    The monthly security patch upgrades have been installed on all RAMMT HP workstations. McIDAS-X 7.801 has also been installed in preparation for GOES-12 checkout.

    Installation of D2D and D3D AWIPS software on the VISIT displaced real time (DRT) case study workstation has been completed. This workstation will be used for AWIPS two- and three-dimensional display software for meteorological case study development. Ongoing system maintenance and security patches have been installed.

    B. Motta installed the software for use with a Smart-Uninterruptible Power Supply (S-UPS). The S-UPS constantly monitors power usage and supply and can automatically shut down the system after a power failure if the power is not restored. This UPS is connected to the new VISIT Linux Case Study Computer.

  • Hardware/Software

    Gosden, Watson, Molenar, Motta

    Clay Davenport, ARAD, Hydrology Team, visited the RAMMT from August 27-30 to install the Rainfall Autoestimator software.  The software will also be installed on the Hurricane Mitch server in Costa Rica once RAMMT staff are trained in its installation & use.

    Two Dell 2.0 Ghz workstations have been ordered to support AMSU, Virtual Lab and COMMS work.

    A server-based anti-virus package was installed that protects all CIRA’s servers and workstations and actively watches for new viruses.  The virus definition files are updated hourly.  Also, an e-mail based anti-virus package that checks and cleans e-mail before the messages are delivered was installed on the CIRA exchange server.  This product is already installed.  RAMM Team installed the anti-virus software on all of its individual computers.

  • Administration

    DeMaria, Molenar, Grasso, Fryer

    The 2002-2004 RAMMT Infrastructure Support Group hardware and personnel requirements has been completed and presented to the team.  Efforts are underway to revise the documents after team input and to being implementation.

    A letter of intent was submitted to the NOAA CLIVAR- PAC, a NOAA Office of Global Programs research initiative.  Proposed work will include the examination of 5 years of satellite climatologies to study inter-annual variability of cloudiness and rainfall in Central America, as well as the intra-seasonal propagation of  larger scale features evident in the water vapor imagery related to tropical cyclone genesis in the Atlantic.

Miscellaneous


  • Travel

    Fryer

     

    Team Member
    Destination
     Purpose
     Funding 
    Dates
    H. Gosden Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua RAMSDIS Installation and Training Mitch   7/22-8/4
    M. DeMaria Washington, DC UCAR Briefing UCAR
    7/25 & 26
    B. Connell Houghton, MI Volcanic Ash Workshop RMTC
    7/28-8/3
    B. Motta Fort Lauderdale, FL AMS 18 Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting VISIT
    7/29-8/3
    J. Dostalek Fort Lauderdale, FL AMS 18 Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting GIMPAP
    7/29-8/3
    S. Burton Fort Collins, CO RMTC Interaction between Barbados and CIRA RMTC
    8/13-17
    H. Burton Fort Collins, CO RMTC Interaction between Barbados and CIRA RMTC
    8/13-17
    M. DeMaria Santa Clara and Monterey, CA Santa Clara University Oversite Visit/Seminar presentation at Naval Research Lab GIMPAP
    8/13-15
    C. Davenport Fort Collins, CO Installation of NESDIS software on CIRA HP Workstations Mitch
    8/28-30
    M. DeMaria Miami, FL Tropical Prediction Center USWRP
    9/5-7
    J. Weaver Colorado Springs, CO Satellite Meteorology Class – Univ. of Colorado  
    9/19
    M. DeMaria
    R. Zehr
    Washington, DC ORA Retreat NESDIS
    Base
    9/24-26
    9/24/28

  • 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

    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