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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 4th Quarter FY02

Meteorological


  • Severe Storms ( Weaver, Dostalek, Grasso, Bikos, Coleman)
     
     
    A formal comment on the GOES-11 satellite article titled “Satellite Observations of a Severe Supercell Thunderstorm on 24 July 2000 made during the GOES-11 Science Test” by J. Weaver (NESDIS/RAMM), J. Knaff, D. Bikos (CIRA), G. Wade (NESDIS/CIMSS), and J. Daniels (NESDIS/ORA) was received by the editor of Weather and Forecasting.  A 12-page reply to the comment was written and accepted for publication.  The editor of the journal commented that the exchange turns out to be as scientifically valuable as the original article itself.  The comment and reply are scheduled to appear in the Feb 2003 issue.

    J. Weaver attended (via teleconference) a series of twelve (12) meetings for the Integrated Planning Teams’ cross-NOAA line office Science and Technology Infusion Plan (STIP) for severe and tornadic storms.  STIP is a multi-agency program designed to satisfy requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and will define high priority and strategic product and service goals in the area of severe weather for the next 20-25 years.  The plan was originally an NWS initiative, but various other groups within NOAA were asked to participate in order to nudge individual agency efforts in a common direction.  J. Dostalek is also participating in a similar process for winter weather.

    RAMM/CIRA researchers are working with NWS forecasters at the Dodge City and Hastings, Kansas forecast offices on a case study for the WES (Weather Event Simulator).  The case involves a tornadic storm event that occurred on 7 May 2002 in central Kansas for which satellite and WSR-88D data were equally important during different portions of the event.  The team is currently acquiring data for the case and beginning preliminary data analysis.

    A paper on the thunderstorm event of 25 May 1999 near Lubbock, TX is ready for in-house review prior to its submission to the journal Weather and Forecasting.

  • Tropical Cyclones (DeMaria, Zehr, Knaff, Dostalek)
     
     
    NOAA’s two WP-3D aircraft are the primary tools for the annual hurricane field program of the Hurricane Research Division (HRD).  The WP-3D aircraft are instrumented to collect flight-level atmospheric data, can release dropsondes to obtain vertical profiles of atmospheric parameters, and have on-board Doppler radars.  However, the WP-3Ds do not have the capability to display on-board satellite imagery in real-time due to the limited communications bandwidths.  Such imagery would be very useful when these planes are tasked to locate the storm’s center by NHC as well as in research missions to adjust flight tracks for optimizing data collection.  As a solution to this we proposed to apply wavelet transform techniques to GOES satellite imagery to allow the transmission of the data using very low bandwidths.  Much progress on this project was made this quarter including:

    1. Scripts that subsect and remap real-time satellite data (2-km VIS, 4-km IR4, and 8-km IR3 in Mercator projection) and ftp the compressed output to a anonymous ftp server,

    2. Software to read these data and strip out the image and navigation information to be used in the wavelet data compression,

    3. Wavelet compression and decompression software (GIF output) – by Ning Wang at FSL,

    4. Scripts to ftp the compressed file to another location (P-3), decompress these files, and loop several recent images.

    The resulting compressed files are just a fraction of the size of the GIF or JPG images created using the original imagery with a minimal loss of information.  Examples of GIF, JPG, and several wavelet transform example GIF images are shown in Figures 1a – 1e.  The binary file size that would be sent to the plane varied from 129.0kb for the GIF image to 8.4 kb for the 30:1  (base size 500×500, 225kb) wavelet compression.
     


    Figure 1a
     

    Figure 1b
     

    Figure 1c

     


    Figure 1d
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    Figure 1e

    Figure 1:  Examples of image compression.   Listed are a GIF image (129.0 kb) (Fig. 1a), a JPG image with a quality of 30 (Fig. 1b), and GIF images resulting from a 10:1(25.0 kb), a 20:1 (12.5kb), and a 30:1 (8.4 kb) wavelet compression (Figs. 1c-e).  Click on images to enlarge.

    A study was completed to investigate the effect of satellite spatial resolution on hurricane IR temperature measurements within the eye.  The purpose is to study the feasibility of doing temperature retrievals within hurricane eyes with an IR sounder.  Simulated sensor resolutions at 4 to 48 km and resultant IR eye temperature measurements from GOES channel 4 imagery were computed for seven Atlantic hurricanes near the time of maximum intensity.  The results suggested three types of hurricanes, 1) not well suited for eye soundings, 2) likely can have representative retrievals with better than 10 km resolution 3) retrievals should be valid with the current GOES sounder resolution of 10 km.

    The use of AMSU-A data to estimate tropical cyclone structure and intensity, which is a part of the USWRP Joint hurricane test-bed, continues.  Algorithms developed at CIRA to estimate tropical cyclone intensity in terms of pressure and maximum wind and radii of 34, 50 and 64-knot winds have been created and are run in a real-time manner along with the RAMMT web page output.  Output from these algorithms is being sent via ftp to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center at synoptic time for their evaluation.  An in-house verification of the intensity estimates for the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific is shown in Table 1 and for the western North Pacific in Table 2.  Both analyses cover the period May 1 – 27 August 2002.
     

      Abs Error (hPa or kt) Bias(hPa or kt) Abs Error 99-01(hPa or kt)
    Min Pressure 9.6 -4.1 6.4
    Max Winds 12.8 5.3 10.4

         
    Table 1. The mean absolute error and bias for the CIRA algorithm for the 93 analyses from 2002 through 27 August and the absolute error for the dependent sample from 1999-2001. 
     

      Abs Error (hPa or kt) Bias(hPa or kt)
    Min Pressure 12.3 4.0
    Max Winds  15.1  4.8 

    Table 2. The mean absolute error and bias for the CIRA algorithm in the western North Pacific for the 185 analyses from 2002 for the period 1 May – 27 August.  The dependent sample is the same as in the Atlantic.

    The recently developed Statistical Typhoon Intensity Prediction Scheme (STIPS) and Decay STIPS were installed in July of 2002 into the operational suite of products at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Pearl Harbor, HI with the assistance of B. Sampson at the Naval Research Laboratory.   STIPS, which is a statistical model that utilizes forecast synoptic and thermodynamic information along with climatology and persistence to provide 5-day tropical cyclone intensity forecasts in the western North Pacific, was developed under a grant from the Office of Naval Research.  Under the same proposed research a 5-day statistical typhoon intensity forecast derived from climatology and persistence (ST5D) was created.   ST5D was installed during July of 2001.  The forecasts made by both these models have outperformed any other intensity guidance available at JTWC.   The homogeneous verification of these models, the official JTWC forecast and persistence for 2002 is given in Table 3.  Note the verification is based upon preliminary best track intensity data and storms of all intensities are included. 
     

      12 (283) 24 (266) 36 (243) 48 (213) 72 (165)
    JTWC 5.6 8.6 11.7 14.2 16.1
    STIPS (decay) 6.1 10.8 13.8 16.1 20.8
    STIPS 6.1 11.5 15.2 17.8 22.7
    ST5D  6.4 10.3 14.4 16.4 19.0
    Persistence  8.3 15 20.5 24.9 33.7

    Table 2. The homogeneous mean absolute tropical cyclone intensity forecast errors in the western North Pacific Basin for the period 11 July – 18 Sept. 2002.  Listed are the official Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), STIPS, decay STIPS, 5-d STIFOR, and persistence at 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72-h.  The number of forecasts used in this verification are given in parentheses.  This verification is based upon preliminary best track information and includes tropical cyclones of all strengths.

    A parallel version of the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS) for the Atlantic basin was implemented on the NCEP IBM for real-time evaluation by NHC.  The parallel version includes new predictors from GOES and satellite altimetry data, and will be compared to the operational version of SHIPS at the end of the season.  This project is part of the USWRP Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT).

    A manuscript entitled, “Annular Hurricanes” by J. A.  Knaff, J. P. Kossin, and M. DeMaria, was revised following the review by Weather and Forecasting and is expected to be accepted.  The paper documents the existence of major hurricanes, which are nearly symmetric with little outer rainband activity, and have large eyes. The environment in which they occur and objective method for identifying them in an operational setting is also described. 

    A manuscript entitled “Statistical, Five-Day Tropical Cyclone Intensity Forecasts Derived From Climatology and Persistence” was revised following review by Weather and Forecasting and has been accepted.  The paper describes the development and performance of statistical tropical cyclone intensity forecasting models designed to make forecasts in the Atlantic, eastern North Pacific and the western North Pacific, which utilized climatology and persistence (CLIPER) as a basis.  CLIPER models are primarily run operationally for evaluation of other forecast models as part of the year-end verification process.  These 5-day forecast models replace older 3-day forecast models in the operational suit at the National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as these forecast centers evaluate the issuance of 5-day tropical cyclone forecasts.  Independent operational performance of the models in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins are comparable to their predecessors, while the model developed for the western North Pacific produced forecast that were between 5 and 20% better than its predecessor.

    A revised manuscript entitled, “Environmental Vertical Wind Shear with Hurricane Bertha,” by R. Zehr, was submitted to Weather and Forecasting, July 29.  Reviews were returned September 20, requesting minor revisions, with a deadline of October 15.

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

    Tropical RAMSDIS with some additional post-analysis is providing additional 2002 tropical cyclone IR image data for the archive.  The first six 2002 Atlantic tropical cyclones have been processed.  In addition, this season’s entire Tropical RAMSDIS image ingest is being saved to DVD, with the assistance of Matt McClurg.

    The IR archive is complete for the 2001 seasons in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. The total archive now is comprised of 220 tropical cyclones (149 of hurricane intensity, and 83 that are Saffir-Simpson Category 3 or higher).  There are approximately 57,000 MCIDAS images with 4 km resolution on a Mercator projection, which are stored on a set of 32 CDs. This data set continues to be extremely valuable for qualitative and quantitative tropical cyclone analysis. A larger sample study is planned as “follow on” research to the case studies with Hurricane Bertha and other 2001 hurricanes.

    Research continues using IR asymmetries and numerical model initial analysis fields to evaluate environmental vertical wind shear.  Real-time analyses and images with this season’s tropical cyclones are being archived for later study along with the CIMSS real-time vertical wind shear analysis. 

    In response to changes in the NWS ftp server, the code governing the ingest of the AVN model analyses, used in CIRA/RAMM’s near real time tropical cyclone products generated from AMSU data, was updated.

  • Extra-Tropical Cyclones (Bikos, Dostalek, Weaver)

    The new VISIT training session titled “Cyclogenesis: Analysis Utilizing Geostationary Satellite Imagery” has been extremely well received by forecasters throughout all regions of the U.S. So far 45 NWS offices have participated

Applications Development


  • GOES Product Improvement and Development (Hillger)
     
     
    The following GOES image products – visible albedo, shortwave albedo, longwave temperature difference, and skin temperature – have been added to the new combined GOES-east and GOES-west display system.  When the new display system becomes operational these products will replace those currently generated on the two older systems and displayed on RAMSDIS Online.

    Software to do Principal Component Image (PCI) analysis of multi-spectral satellite imagery has been upgraded for MODIS.  Better analysis of MODIS is now allowed with the latest McIDAS software (version 2002a).  The upgrade involved a non-trivial increase in the number of bands that can be analyzed, from 19 GOES Sounder bands to 38 MODIS bands (36 bands plus two band variations).  The upgrade required increases in array sizes and code changes to handle the additional bands.

    Two Arizona forest fires (the Rodeo and Chediski fires) near Show Low AZ are viewed in MODIS imagery from EOS/Terra.  The attached images show the fires two days apart, on the afternoons of 21 and 23 June 2002.  There is a large growth in the size of the fires in two days. 
     


    Figure 1
     

    Figure 2

    Click on images to enlarge.

    Figure 1.    MODIS imagery from 21 June 2002.  The Principal Component Images (PCIs) of 1 km multi-spectral MODIS imagery are displayed in 4 panels.  The upper-left panel is a composite image (of mostly visible and near-IR bands) in each case.  The other three panels are image combinations that show the ring of hot spots around the fire perimeter and the smoke plumes from the fires.

    Figure 2.  Same as Fig. 1, except for 23 June 2002.

    Forest fires in Arizona and Colorado created a large area of smoke over the state this past summer.  The attached day/night visible/shortwave albedo image shows the smoke heavily covering New Mexico, Texas, and parts of “old” Mexico and extending to the northeast as far as the Great Lakes in this image.


    Figure 3

    Figure 3.  GOES-10 albedo product from 25 June 2002 finds forward scattering of early morning sunlight into the GOES-west imager.

    Two of the Colorado forest fires – the Missionary Ridge fire north of Durango and the Hayman fire southwest of Denver – can be viewed in GOES visible/shortwave albedo products generated from GOES-10 visible and IR imagery.  The 0700 UTC (nighttime) image (Fig. 4) shows the two fire hot spots covering several image pixels each, and the 1230 UTC (early morning) image (Fig. 5) shows the large amount of smoke associated with the two fires.  The smoke is most apparent due to forward scattering of morning sunlight into the GOES-west view. 
     


    Figure 4
     

    Figure 5

    Figure 4.  GOES-10 visible/shortwave albedo product at 07:00 UTC on 19 June 2002.

    Figure 5.  GOES-10 visible/shortwave albedo product at 12:30 UTC on 19 June 2002. 

    As a follow-up to the above, the Missionary Ridge fire north of Durango and the Million fire to the east are significant features in GOES visible/short wave albedo products generated from GOES-10 visible and IR imagery.  The 0630 UTC (nighttime) image (Fig. 6) shows the fire hot spots covering several image pixels each, and the 1300 UTC (early morning) image (Fig. 7) shows the large amount of smoke associated with the two fires.  The large area of smoke is apparent due to forward scattering of morning sunlight into the GOES-west view.  Image loops of the GOES day/night visible/shortwave albedo products for each day are available upon request.
     


    Figure 6
     

    Figure 7

    Figure 6.  GOES-10 visible/shortwave albedo product at 06:30 UTC on 20 June 2002.

    Figure 7.  GOES-10 visible/shortwave albedo product at 13:00 UTC on 20 June 2002.

    Future GOES

    An analysis of the noise level of Japanese Geosynchronous Meteorological Satellite (GMS-5) data for selected images for the years 1995 to 2001 was accomplished in cooperation with former CSU Atmospheric Science MS student, Tomoko Koyama, who is working for the Japanese Meteorological Agency.  Space-view noise levels could not be obtained because the 8-bit values are all identical.  Instead, cloud-free ocean views were used in the structure function analysis.  Results indicated that, except for the first year when noise decreased  (probably due to improved calibration), the noise levels of GMS-5 IR bands 2 through 4 are stable and have not increased over time.  These results will be presented by Ms. Koyama at the Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Ocean, Environment, and Space Conference, 23-27 October 2002 in Hangzhou, China. 

  • Precipitation (Grasso)

    An observational operator has been developed at CIRA. The operator is designed to calculate radiance fields from visible to microwave wavelengths. In addition, the operator computes optical properties of hydrometeors within clouds. Currently, this procedure is being testing on a simulated thunderstorm that includes two-moment microphysics. Seven hydrometeor types are included in the simulation: Aggregates, cloud drops, graupel, hail, pristine ice, rain, and snow.

  • Climatology (Connell, Combs)

    The Summer Sea Breeze Climatology project for northern Florida started its seventh season this June.  The study aims to create 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. Ken Gould with the NWS in Tallahassee, Florida is the focal point for regime designation at the WFO.  Imagery are archived at CIRA for future processing.  The data collection and regime designation ran through August.

    Processing of the U.S. climatologies continues on schedule.  Products completed include monthly large sector composites for June, July and August 2002, and wind regime composites for May, June and July.  In addition, monthly wind regime composites covering the past five years have been completed for May, June and July.

    Data processing for the Cheyenne project continues.  Initial data processing is completed.  Various composites from this data are being created, including backgrounds for the channel 1 (visible) and channel 4 (10.7 um), monthly average, maximum and minimum for channels 1 and 4, and cloud cover percentage composites for fall/winter seasons, 1998-2002.  Focusing on the three-month period with the most high wind events (December-February), additional wind regime composites have been produced for the entire period, wind events hours, twelve hours before wind events, and the twelve hours after.  See figures below for examples.  Click on images to enlarge.
     


    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Figure 1.  Percent cloud cover, Dec-Feb, 1998-2002 . . . west wind regime.

    Figure 2. Same as Fig. 1, except for high wind events only. 

    An abstract was submitted for a poster on the Cheyenne project to the 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting in February.  A manuscript for the preprint has also been written and sent.

    In July, senior forecaster Michael Weiland from the Cheyenne office visited CIRA to discuss the project and offer input.  In September, he and science and operations officer David Copley visited to see the new products.  The composites, future work, and the AMS poster were discussed.

  • Lake Effect Snow (Bikos, Weaver)
     
     
    Developmental work continues on the new “Advanced Lake Effect Snow Forecasting” VISIT training session.  The beta-test version of the session should be ready by 4 October 2002.

Field Experiments


  • GOES Science Tests (Hillger, Knaff, Weaver)

    GOES-12:

    Nothing to Report This Quarter


    GOES-11:

    GOES-11, data are being studied for a possible note to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  A preliminary look suggests that with 5-min interval data, NESDIS might be able to provide a very useful suite of products to the NWS fire weather meteorologist for use in wild land fire detection.  The 5-min data actually showed the Missionary Ridge, Colorado fire on both visible and Channel 2 about 20-min before it was reported by the public.  The Hayman, Colorado fire wasn’t detected until about 45-min after the first report, however that fire was called in by the person who started it when it was very small.

    Figure 2:  GOES-11 visible wavelength satellite image from 23:39 UTC on 9 June 2002 showing four major forest fires burning in Colorado.  Click on image to enlarge.

  • Brazil Fire Project (Connell, Gosden, Dostalek)

    A set of fire detection programs was modified for use in the Brazil RAMSDIS system. The application program overlays the hotspots on the South American map using different color schemes to differentiate its duration. The information in reference to the hotspots (i.e., latitude and longitude coordinates, brightness counts, temperature readings, etc.) is written to a file every thirty minutes.

  • HRD and CAMEX (Gosden, Knaff, Watson, Zehr)

    HRD’s Hurricane Field Operations using three NOAA research aircraft (two Orion P3’s and the Gulfstream IV jet) are taking place. The program began in August and will continue through October. The aircraft operations are based at McDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL. There are various research objectives, all aimed at improved understanding of hurricane dynamics, intensity change, and track. HRD uses the Tropical RAMSDIS (developed and supported by RAMM) extensively for research operations planning and coordination. With three aircraft, several agencies, and many personnel involved, this is a challenging task.

    R. Zehr participated in HRD’s field program, September 11-18. This included a P3 mission in Tropical Storm Hanna on Friday, September 13. The tropical storm was located in the Gulf of Mexico and moving north toward a landfall near Mobile, AL. While on the aircraft, a real-time satellite image was successfully downloaded from the CIRA server. Due to the slow data transfer rates, high quality, real-time animated satellite imagery have been unavailable to scientists while on board the aircraft. The HRD visit also provided the opportunity to discuss ongoing research projects at HRD and also at RSMAS (Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences), located across the street from HRD. On September 16-18, R. Zehr presented the daily hurricane briefing each day at HRD.

    The RAMSDIS system in Hurricane Research Division was shipped to CIRA for troubleshooting and repair. H. Gosden reinstalled the Tropical RAMSDIS software and shipped the system back. In addition to the reinstallation, three new processes were added to utilize the smooth day/night albedo transitions in the visible product ingests.

  • Lubbock Dryline Experiment (Weaver, Dostalek)

    A paper on the thunderstorm event of 25 May 1999 near Lubbock, TX is ready for in-house review prior to its submission to the journal Weather and Forecasting.

  • PACJET (DeMaria, Dostalek, Zajac)

    The development of a climatology of cold season precipitation for three west coast cities (San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, and Quillayute, WA) has begun. Preliminary findings confirm the relationship between the low-level jet and rain amount. The climatology consists of radiosonde launches, reanalysis data, and GOES imagery.

Outside Interactions


  • National Laboratories (Knaff, Zehr)
     
     
    During this quarter R. Zehr visited HRD and had the opportunity to fly aboard the WP-3D into Tropical Storm Hanna. During this flight he transferred a JPG image much like the one shown in Fig. 1a to the plane in about 2 minutes clock time. This demonstrates the ability to send about 3 images with a 20:1 compression ratio to the WP-3D in the same 2 minutes.  The demonstration of this capability will have to wait until next hurricane season, as the hardware needed to finish this project has not yet been installed on the WP-3D.  Click on image to enlarge.


    Figure 1a

  • National Weather Service (Weaver, Dostalek, Bikos)

    J. Dostalek served as the NESDIS representative on the team that prepared the NWS’ Winter Weather Science and Technology Infusion Plan. The plan outlines desired improvements in forecasting severe winter weather events (i.e. improved winter storm warning lead times, probability of detection, and false alarm ratio) and the means by which the improvements can be made. Sam Contorno of the NWS heads the team. Members from both the operational and research communities participated.

    J. Weaver and D. Bikos are working with NWS forecasters at the Dodge City and Hastings, Kansas forecast offices on a case study for the WES (Weather Event Simulator). The case involves a tornadic storm event that occurred on 7 May 2002 in central Kansas for which satellite and WSR-88D data were equally important during different portions of the event. The team is currently acquiring data for the case and beginning preliminary data analysis.

    J. Weaver and D. Bikos continue to work with T. Niziol (NWS, Buffalo) and G. Mann (NWS, Detroit) on the new “Advanced Lake Effect Snow Forecasting” VISIT teletraining session.

  • Universities (Zehr, Grasso, Weaver)
     
     
    Jeremy Black, an undergraduate student from Santa Clara University, was instructed in McIDAS (Man Computer Interactive Data Analysis System) programming and RAMSDIS (Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Team Advanced Meteorological Satellite Demonstration and Interpretation System) use.  He is writing a program to help identify thunderstorms from satellite imagery.  His work is in support of research investigating the detection of lightning from satellite, which is partially supported through a grant from NESDIS/ORA.  Black also took two VISIT teletraining sessions on lightning during his time at CIRA. 

    M. DeMaria gave an invited presentation entitled “Forty Years of Progress in Atlantic Hurricane Forecasting: 1962-2002″ at a symposium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science.

  • International Activities (Connell, Knaff, Gosden)

    Brazil Project:

    The RAMSDIS-NT upgrade installation package was completed and shipped to Brasilia, Brazil for the support of their experimental fires project.  The upgrade consists of updating their two systems with the McIDAS-NT software, increased memory, 64 MB video card, and Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional operating system. 

    Japanese Interaction:

    Nothing to Report This Quarter

    MITCH Reconstruction Project:

    A test to switch the single Auto-rainfall estimator product on the Costa Rica (CR) server was successful.  The current products are being ingested from the NESDIS server, but the rainfall products are now being generated on the CR server.  The switch to enable access to the remaining rainfall products will be implemented in September.

    Three RAMM/CIRA Team members, Dr. Bernadette Connell, Hiro Gosden, and Dave Watson, won this year’s CIRA Research Initiative Award for their contributions to the Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Project.

    The paper “Use of Operational Satellite Data in Central America to Support Disaster Management” by B. Connell, M. DeMaria, V. Castro, R. Alfaro, and J. Sessing, was submitted for the Pecora 15/Land Satellite Information IV Conference to be held November 8-15 in Denver, Colorado.  The paper chronicles the efforts to distribute GOES digital satellite imagery and provide training on its use to Central American countries most affected by Hurricane Mitch.

    RMTC Project:

    GOES-8 imagery for March 2002 through August, 2002 were sent to the Regional Meteorological Training Centers (RMTCs) in Costa Rica and Barbados. The archives are being used to investigate at cloud frequency during the rainy and dry seasons and detect local variations from year to year.  The monthly cloud frequency composites for March – May and June – August 1997-2002 are shown in Figures 1 and 2, below.  The archived imagery also provides access to examples for use in satellite focused training efforts.

    Click on images to enlarge.

    Figure 1. Monthly cloud frequency composites for March, April and May 1997 – 2002 over Costa Rica.

    Figure 2. Monthly cloud frequency composites for June, July, and August 1997 – 2002 over Costa Rica.

    Figure 3. Monthly cloud frequency composites for March, April and May 1998 – 2002 over Barbados.

    Figure 4. Monthly cloud frequency composites for June, July, and August 1998 – 2002 over Barbados.

    The following web pages continue to provide on-line imagery in gif and jpg format over Central and South America and the Caribbean: 

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/rmsdsol/RMTC.html

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/rmsdsol/COS.html

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/RAMM/rmsdsol/BARB.html

    SICA Project:

    The SICA project officially ended on December 31, 2001, but a web page displaying satellite precipitation estimates and fire products continues to operate:   http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/sica/main.html

    Visitors:

    A group of 10 scientists and engineers from the Peoples Republic of China visited CIRA on their tour of NESDIS facilities in the United States.  The visit included a tour of the CIRA satellite ground station and presentations on satellite image products and display systems.  One of the visitors, Mr. Yang Jun, had spent many months at CIRA helping develop software for RAMSDIS during its initial stages.  

Technology Transfer and Training


  • Web Pages (DeMaria, Gosden, Dostalek)

    The RAMM Team Infrastructure page has been upgraded to include Infrastructure Group goals, hardware procurement plans and status, and quarterly project status and human resource allocation.  The hardware procurement plans and status have also been sent to ORA.

    Web-based versions for all VISIT training sessions can be found at: 

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ts.html

    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 

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

    The conversion of all in-house RAMSDIS-OS2 workstations to RAMSDIS-2002 (using Windows 2000 operating system) has been given increased priority in light of the pending GOES-12 activation in April 2003. The GOES-east and GOES-west display systems have been combined into one high-end workstation. Efforts are underway to do the same for Tropical, RMTC, RSO, and Sounder RAMSDIS-OS2 workstations.

    Software updates to support improved products on the RAMSDIS at Hurricane Research Division (HRD) were provided to Jason Dunion (HRD). The new software gives them the capability to have GOES combined images with the terminator programmed along with visible albedo and enhanced Channel 2 images. Additional new software supports storm relative animation and reloading of floater sector images to new center locations when they are moved. Discussions about HRD RAMSDIS use (past, present, and future) were held with HRD personnel in Miami during R. Zehr’s visit.

    A longwave difference product has been implemented on the Tropical RAMSDIS by D. Hillger. It is created from the difference between GOES Channel 4 (10.7 um) and Channel 5 (12.0 um). It was expanded to cover the tropical Atlantic, and enhanced to highlight Saharan dust areas in the Atlantic. The air layers with Saharan dust content have been hypothesized to have an adverse influence on tropical cyclone development. This seems to be associated with an environmental forcing that suppresses deep convection.

    The software which controls the ingest of imagery on the GOES sounder RAMSDIS units was improved to prevent a problem concerning the updating of imagery.

    The GOES image products: visible albedo, shortwave albedo, longwave temperature difference, and skin temperature have been added to the new combined GOES-east and GOES-west RAMSDIS display system. When the new display system becomes operational these products will replace those currently generated on the two older systems and displayed on RAMSDIS Online.

  • AWIPS Development/FSL Interaction (Molenar, Bikos, Weaver)
     
     
    The PC workstation procured for transition of RAMM Team AWIPS capabilities from HP to Linux workstations has been configured with D2D 5.1.1.  Efforts are underway to determine changes required to convert the existing RAMM Team LDM NOAAPORT AWIPS ingest to the new machine.
  • VISIT (Bikos, Weaver, Zajac, Lindsey, Zehr)

    D. Lindsey and R. Zehr completed the final changes and beta test for the “Subtropical Cyclone Analysis with Satellite Data.”  The first session was presented to 9 offices (43 participants) on August 20.  A second session is scheduled for October 2002.

    D. Lindsey and J. Weaver co-instructed 10 Lightning Meteorology I and Lightning Meteorology II sessions between July and September. 

    In August, D. Lindsey presented some material from Lightning Meteorology II at the Severe Local Storms Conference in San Antonio.

    D. Bikos and J. Weaver have been working on a new VISIT teletraining session entitled “Lake-effect snow II.”  This will be a more advanced session as a follow-up to the first VISIT teletraining session “Lake-effect snow,” also by Bikos and Weaver.  The team also includes Tom Niziol (NWS Buffalo), Greg Mann (NWS Detroit), Stephen Jascourt (COMET), and Randy Graham (NWS Grand Rapids) in a collaborative effort. 

    Based on feedback from individuals at NSSL and Texas A&M, D. Lindsey and J. Weaver made fairly significant updates to the theory portion of Lightning Meteorology I.  Most of these changes reflect recent research results in lightning and storm electrification. 

    The 400 GB snap drive was configured and mounted on Scorpio and Regulus for VISIT use.  The fxa information has been copied to the new mount to be utilized with the AWIPS software, and the GOES winds archive has been redirected onto this mount.

    During this quarter 49 VISIT teletraining sessions have been delivered to 693 students from 265 NWS offices.

    New VISIT teletraining that debuted this quarter include:
    POES Tropical Rainfall Potential (taught by Sheldon Kusselson of NESDIS)
    Subtropical Cyclones (taught by Ray Zehr)

    A training certificate of completion is sent out to VISIT teletraining participants who have returned their student evaluation forms.  The following graph shows the total number of certificates issued since we started tracking this in April 1999.  As of August 22, the total is 8747 certificates.

    The following list shows a breakdown of the metrics for each VISIT teletraining session valid April 1999 – August 30, 2002.  For a complete list and description of each VISIT session go to:  http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ts.html

    The following map illustrates VISIT participation for each NWS WFO with national centers and CWSUs in the list on the right:

    After each VISIT teletraining session an e-mail is sent out to the focal points with an evaluation.  Here is a portion of the evaluation:

    Rate questions #1-9 on a scale of 1 to 5:

    1  –>  strongly disagree
    2  –>  disagree
    3  –>  indifferent
    4  –>  agree
    5  –>  strongly agree

    If you rate a question as 1 or 2, please discuss why.

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

    Below is a graph that summarizes these evaluation questions (from December 2000 through the present):

    The graph shows that the vast majority of respondents answered 4 or 5, meaning they responded very positively to the above 9 questions.


    Web versions of most VISIT sessions can be found at the following addresses:

    Cyclogenesis:

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

    Boundary Detection:

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

    CONUS Cloud to Ground Lightning Climatology:

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

    Convective Initiation by Low-Level Boundaries:

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/visit/lessons/bndry2/viewmaster.html

    Detecting Boundaries:

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

    Elevated Mesoscale Ascent:

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

    GOES enhancements/color tables in AWIPS

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/istpds/awips/awips_1.html

    Lake-effect snow (student guide, web based session link temporarily on this page):

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

    Lightning Meteorology I:

    http://www.cira.colostate.edu/ramm/visit/ltgmet1/01_title.asp

    Mesoscale Analyses and Techniques:

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

    NDIC:

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

    Rapid Scan Operations:

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

    Tropical Satellite Imagery and Products:

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

    QuikSCAT:

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

  • Training (Fryer)

    Received: 
     

    Participants Place Dates Course
    D. Watson Denver, CO August 27-30 Red Hat Linux System Administration
    K. Fryer CSU Computer Training and Support Services July 11 Creating Images in Photoshop and Using Them in a Web Page
  • RAMSDIS (Molenar, Connell, Dostalek, Gosden, Hillger)

    The conversion of all in-house RAMSDIS-OS2 workstations to RAMSDIS-2002 (using Windows 2000 operating system) has been given increased priority in light of the pending GOES-12 activation in April 2003. The GOES-east and GOES-west display systems have been combined into one high-end workstation. Efforts are underway to do the same for Tropical, RMTC, RSO, and Sounder RAMSDIS-OS2 workstations.

    Software updates to support improved products on the RAMSDIS at Hurricane Research Division (HRD) were provided to Jason Dunion (HRD). The new software gives them the capability to have GOES combined images with the terminator programmed along with visible albedo and enhanced Channel 2 images. Additional new software supports storm relative animation and reloading of floater sector images to new center locations when they are moved. Discussions about HRD RAMSDIS use (past, present, and future) were held with HRD personnel in Miami during R. Zehr’s visit.

    A longwave difference product has been implemented on the Tropical RAMSDIS by D. Hillger. It is created from the difference between GOES Channel 4 (10.7 um) and Channel 5 (12.0 um). It was expanded to cover the tropical Atlantic, and enhanced to highlight Saharan dust areas in the Atlantic. The air layers with Saharan dust content have been hypothesized to have an adverse influence on tropical cyclone development. This seems to be associated with an environmental forcing that suppresses deep convection.

    The software which controls the ingest of imagery on the GOES sounder RAMSDIS units was improved to prevent a problem concerning the updating of imagery.

    The GOES image products: visible albedo, shortwave albedo, longwave temperature difference, and skin temperature have been added to the new combined GOES-east and GOES-west RAMSDIS display system. When the new display system becomes operational these products will replace those currently generated on the two older systems and displayed on RAMSDIS Online.

  • Publications (Fryer)

    Published:

    Hillger, D.W., and J.D. Clark, 2002: Principal Component Image analysis of MODIS for volcanic ash, Part-1: Most important bands and implications for future GOES Imagers, Journal of Applied Meteorology, 41:10, 985-1001.

    Hillger, D.W., and J.D. Clark, 2002: Principal Component Image analysis of MODIS for volcanic ash, Part-2: Simulations of current GOES and GOES-M Imagers, Journal of Applied Meteorology, 41:10, 1003-1010.

    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 within Oklahoma. Weather and Forecasting.

    Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke Sr., J.A. Knaff, and E. Kalnay, 2002: Changes in global monsoon circulations: evidence for a diminishing hydrological cycle? Natural Hazards.

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

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

    Weaver, J.F., J.A. Knaff, D.E. Bikos, G.S. Wade, J.M. Daniels, 2002: Reply to Comments on: Satellite Observations of a Severe Supercell Thunderstorm on 24 July 2000 made during the GOES-11 Science Test. Weather and Forecasting.

    Submitted:

    To the top

    Combs, C.L., 2003:  Examining high wind events using satellite cloud cover composites over the Cheyenne, WY region.  AMS 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 9-13 February, Long Beach, CA.

    DeMaria, M., R. M. Zehr, J.P. Kossin, J.A. Knaff, 2003:Improvements in Real-Time Statistical Tropical Cyclone Intensity Forecasts Using Satellite Data. AMS 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 9-13 February, Long Beach, CA.

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

    Hillger, D.W., S.Q. Kidder, 2003:  A simple GOES skin temperature product. AMS 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 9-13 February, Long Beach, CA.

    Knaff, J.A., M. DeMaria, C.R. Sampson, J.M. Gross, 2002: Statistical, Five-Day Tropical Cyclone Intensity Forecasts Derived from Climatology and Persistence. Weather and Forecasting.

    Knaff, J.A., J.P. Kossin, M. DeMaria, 2003: Annular Hurricanes. Weather and Forecasting.

    Knaff, J.A., N. Wang, M. DeMaria, J.S. Griffin, F.D. Marks, 2003:  A demonstration of real-time transmission and display of GOES imagery aboard the NOAA P-3 aircraft during the 2002 hurricane season.  AMS 12th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography, 9-13 February, Long Beach, CA.

    Zehr, R.M., 2002: Environmental vertical wind shear with Hurricane Bertha (1996). Weather and Forecasting. 

Infrastructure


  • Systems Administration (Molenar, Gosden)
     
     
    The installation of the Firewall in the CIRA network disabled the use of unsecured ftp port use, which in tern led us to use the SSH based file transfers.  The RAMM Team is currently enabling the SSH port on individual machines, but a plan to configure a single server to be used as a SSH porthole for CIRA is underway.  
  • Hardware/Software (Molenar, Watson, Gosden)
     
     
    A new 400 GB Snap drive was installed for use by the VISIT Group, and a new HP Scanner was also installed for RAMM Team use.

    RAMMT has continued in the upgrade of RAMMT systems to higher class Pentium systems.  This includes desktops, laptops, and research systems.  Work will now focus on upgrading and reconfiguring the RAMMT Lab systems, which include all research and RAMSDIS Online systems.

    RAMMT has hired a student hourly to help the infrastructure group with general hardware and software tasks during the next year.

  • Administration (DeMaria, Molenar, Grasso, Fryer)
     
     
    Three RAMM/CIRA Team members, Dr. Bernadette Connell, Hiro Gosden, and Dave Watson, were awarded this year’s CIRA Research Initiative Award for their contributions to the Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Project.

Miscellaneous


  • Travel (Fryer)
    Team Member Destination Purpose Funding Dates
    D. Lindsey San Antonio, TX 21st AMS Conference on Severe Local Storms
    ATS/CSU
    August 12 
    to 16
    M. DeMaria
    D. Hillger
    J. Knaff
    Pingree Park, CO CIRA Retreat
    CIRA
    August 14 
    to 16
    D. Watson Denver, CO Red Hat LINUX Course
     GIMPAP
    August 27 
    to 30
    R. Zehr Miami, FL Hurricane Research Division, P-3 Flight
    USWRP
    September 11 to 19
    M. DeMaria Washington, DC GIMPAP and USWRP Meetings
    GIMPAP
    September 16 to 20
    M. DeMaria
    D. Hillger
    Boulder, CO GOES Users Working Group Meeting   September 30
  • 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

  • Miscellaneous (Fryer)

    Visitors:
     

    Visitor
    Date of Visit
    Affiliation
    RAMMT Contacts
    Percy Thomas
    Leroy Spayd
    July 24 
    NWS Headquarters
    NWS Headquarters
    CIMSS
    VISIT Personnel
    Michael Weiland
    July 19
    NWS Forecast Office
    Cheyenne, WY
    M. DeMaria and C. Combs
    Jeremy Black
    September 9-13 
    University of Santa Clara
    Santa Clara, CA
    D. Watson and J. Dostalek
    Mike Weiland 
    Dave Copley
    September 16 Cheyenne, WY NWS C. Combs

    Meetings/Conferences:
     

    Traveler
    Dates
    Conference
    Place
    Funding
    D. Lindsey
    August 12-16
    15th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction   

    San Antonio, TX 
    ATS/CSU