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RAMMB Scientific Quarterly Report - 4th Quarter FY14

Tropical Cyclone Research

  • Tropical Cyclone Future Satellite Studies

    Submission of Internship Opportunity:  With the goal of hosting a Hollings Scholar, an internship opportunity entitled “A closer examination of lightning activity and rapid intensification of hurricanes” was submitted to the NOAA Office of Education.  The now approved work proposes to refine previously documented relationships found between lightning activity and rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones, by more closely examining the temporal behavior and asymmetry of eyewall lightning and by attempting to better define the eyewall and rainband regions using storm size information. J. Knaff, A. Schumacher, K. Musgrave will be active mentors. (J. Knaff)

  • Tropical Cyclone External Interactions

    Collaboration leads to new operational product at JMA:  Techniques utilized to limb correct AMSU-A data that have been used to make operational (NCEP) TC intensity and structure estimates using the Demuth et al. (2006) method, were shared with JMA scientists who have developed a separate technique to estimate mean sea level pressure (MSLP).  Limb corrections were provided by StAR scientists who developed the statistical AMSU temperature retrievals.  This MSLP prediction method was transitioned to JMA operations in 2013.  The description and verification of this method is available at  Future plans are to make this a publically available product and share it with their regional WMO typhoon committee  nations (i.e.,  Cambodia; China; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; the Philippines; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Thailand; Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the United States of America). (J. Knaff)

    OCONUS Proving Ground Meeting: J. Knaff traveled to Honolulu, HI to participate in the JPSS/GOES-R OCONUS Technical Interchange Meeting.  He met the key players, made observations and collected information on the JPSS and GOES-R Proving Ground efforts OCONUS.  The group visited the Honolulu WFO, JTWC, Honolulu Community college, and the NOAA Inouye Regional Center.  Outcomes include providing CIRA scientist participation information and a possible spin up of a Tropical Cyclone Initiative.  (J. Knaff)

    Collaboration with NRL Monterey:  J. Knaff traveled to Monterey to work on 1) TC structure forecasts and 2) a WMO report on TC intensity guidance.   (J. Knaff)

    Collaboration on TC size variations: J. Knaff shared the infrared (IR)-based TC size estimates based on HURSAT.v3 and the CIRA/RAMMB IR archive (i.e., Knaff et al. 2014) with S. Camargo (Columbia Univ., IRI) to investigate the changes of TC size with respect to phases of El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  Preliminary investigations of the N. Atlantic shows differences in size by ENSO phase, but they not the same for all categories.  This work is expected to lead to a publication.  (J. Knaff)

    Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program proposal submitted:  J. Knaff submitted a SBIR program proposal entitled “Tropical cyclone surface analysis wind modernization effort,” which encourages NOAA to promote new commercial tropical cyclone surface analysis wind schemes based on advances in data assimilation science used in their suite of mesoscale models.  Applicable TC commercial applications include: insurance products; storm surge modeling; NFIP flood hazard mapping; wind code construction standards; and industry weather software. NOAA benefits by obtaining feedback from developers and vendors on the model infrastructure and data assimilation methodologies.  Currently available TC surface wind products are subjectively analyzed or use aged analyses schemes resulting in poor wind structure continuity.  These type of analyses also lack the ability to produce high-temporal output, including winds associated with landfalling TCs.  (J. Knaff)

    National Hurricane Center GOES-R Proving Ground mid-project review:  A mid-project review of the 2014 NHC GOES-R Proving Ground was conducted on-site in Miami, FL from 16-18 September.  During these 3 days, short meetings were conducted with forecasters from the Hurricane Specialist Unit and the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch to gather feedback on and answer questions about the 15 products being demonstrated in this year’s Proving Ground.  (A. Schumacher)

    Training data made available to P. Santos at NWS Miami: The Monte Carlo wind speed probability model was rerun for 2 sample tropical cyclone advisories and the gridded data files were delivered to P. Santos at NWS Miami for use in training. (A. Schumacher)

    Joint Tropical Weather Briefings with HRD:  J. Knaff and K. Musgrave gave joint tropical briefings the week of 18-22 August 2014 with NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.  Local briefings were held at 10 am to accommodate HRD’s noon daily weather discussions.  The focus of these discussions was to provide information needed to plan various field programs in which HRD is participating – thus implying an Atlantic focus.  This was an exciting week given the relative dearth of storms in the North Atlantic and the possibility of a low-latitude hurricane forming near the Leeward Islands.  (J. Knaff, K. Musgrave)

    Possible use of NOAA Unique CrIS/ATMS processing System (NUCAPS):  J. Dostalek and G. Chirokova participated in a conference call with Nick Nalli concerning the possible use of the NOAA Unique CrIS/ATMS processing System (NUCAPS) for future projects, including JPSS and Cal/Val.  Nick is NOAA contractor who leads the validation efforts of NUCAPS.  The call included discussions concerning the differences between NUCAPS and CrIMSS (Crosstrack Infrared and Microwave Sounding Suite), the usefulness of NUCAPS data in a tropical cyclone environment, and data quality issues.  In addition, arrangements were made for getting sample data for past cases as well as a possible real-time feed.  (J. Dostalek, G. Chirokova)

  • Tropical Cyclone Product Development

    The Real Time Archiving and Decoding of Dropsonde Data has been setup as part of CIRA’s Cal/Val and JPSS-PGRR projects. The dropsonde data are downloaded from the NHC website, and the decoded data with some additional preprocessed data are archived on a NAS drive, and are available for other projects as well. (J. Dostalek, G. Chirokova)

    Verification of the ATMS soundings from Atlantic and east Pacific against dropsonde data:   Using the existing dropsonde decoder (developed as part of Cal/Val project) the ATMS temperature and moisture soundings were compared with dropsondes as a function of distance from the storm center. That work is part of JPSS-PGRR project.   For the collocation the ATMS sounding closest to the dropsonde was selected within one hour and 100 km from the dropsonde release time and location. The comparison of dropsondes with ATMS soundings shows that a) Close to the storm center (0-350 km) the ATMS performance is usually not very good, especially for moisture soundings b) Away from the storm center (more than 350 km) the ATMS usually performs better; however, the ATMS is lacking vertical resolution, so sometimes even relatively deep dry or moist layers are completely missing in the ATMS soundings. Also ATMS soundings do not perform very well close to the surface, being often too dry and too cold. c) Temperature soundings are usually better than moisture soundings.  Figure 1 shows two examples of the dropsonde and ATMS collocation. The left panel shows a bad case, close to the storm center (216 km from the storm center), and the right panel shows a good case (401 km  from the storm center). Both cases are from AL06 2014, Edouard.  The results of the comparison will be used to correct ATMS soundings for systematic errors, which should provide better input to the Maximum Potential intensity (MPI) algorithm. (G. Chirokova)

    Figure 1. Example of the dropsonde and ATMS soundings collocation. The bad case (left) is for the sounding 216 km away from the storm center, and the good case (right) is 401 km from the storm center. Both examples are for the Hurricane Edouard, AL06 2014. The red and blue lines are T and Td profiles from ATMS, respectively, and the purple and teal lines are T and Td from the dropsondes.

    Development of an automated eye-detection algorithm:  As a part of JPSS-PGRR project, work has been performed to prepare previously collected dataset consisting of 2677 geostationary infrared images to be used to train a machine learning algorithm to perform automatic classification.  Each image consists of an 80×80 pixel area centered on a tropical cyclone. In this state, each image can be thought of as a vector with 6400 values.  Each of these vectors describes a point in a space described by 6400 dimensions.  This data is too high dimensional relative to the number of available samples to expect to obtain good classifications from a machine learning algorithm.  That is, the samples available do not explain a significant portion of the space represented by 6400 dimensions.   To prepare the dataset, principle component analysis (PCA) was performed to find the underlying patterns contained in the data.  Specifically, PCA was performed to find a set of eigenvectors that account for 90% of the variance of the data.  After performing the analysis, it was found that 11 eigenvectors were needed for that purpose.  The two most significant eigenvectors can be seen in Figure 1.  The eigenvectors were then used for dimension reduction. Using a projection matrix generated from the eigenvectors, the data were projected from a 2677×6400 element matrix to a 2677×11 element matrix. At this point, the data is in a state where it can be used as a training set for a machine learning algorithm to perform automated eye-detection. (R. DeMaria)

    Figure 1. The First (left) and second (right) most significant of the 11 eigenvectors that explain 90% of the variance in the IR dataset.

    NOAA/NESDIS/PSDI/NDE/S-NPP Tropical Cyclone Algorithm: Three upgrades (NPP_TC v1.4.1-4) were developed, tested and migrated to the NDE development and test servers. Upgrades included minor bug fixes. ATMS data became available in real-time end of August 2014 and CIRA real-time 2 hourly test runs began 1 September 2014. NPP_TC v1.5.0 which includes ATMS quality control checks, along with minor updates is currently being tested and will be migrated to NDE testing in October. (S. Longmore, A. Schumacher, J. Dostalek)

    NOAA/NESDIS/PSDI/AMSU Tropical Cyclone Algorithm: AMSU_TC v1.2.0 is currently being developed which will included AMSU quality control checking as well as several features already integrated into NPP_TC v1.5.0 (driver updates, scaling/offset/threshold checking in algorithm, etc. (S. Longmore, J. Dostalek)

    Wind speed probability upgrades:  Several updates have been made to the Monte Carlo wind speed probability algorithm under support from the Joint Hurricane Testbed.  The time interpolation scheme was updated from a linear interpolation to a spline fit, which produces a more realistic official track from which the wind speed probabilities are calculated.  In addition, extratropical cases were removed from the experimental dataset so the product-derived error statistics match those of the official National Hurricane Center verification report for the last 5 years.  This update will allow for consistency between NHC’s various uncertainty products.  Finally, a time-integrated estimate of forecast uncertainty based on Goerss Predicted Consensus Error has been developed and is currently being refined based on feedback from NHC points of contact.  These updates have been incorporated into an experimental version of the MC model that is currently running at CIRA (  (A. Schumacher)

    S-NPP MiRS ATMS-based tropical cyclone products:  The S-NPP MiRS ATMS-based tropical cyclone products algorithm is currently running in real-time at CIRA.  CIRA scientists recently gained real-time access to 30-second MiRS ATMS granule via NDE Distribution, which allowed real-time runs to be established late last month.  Real time testing will continue for the next few weeks to allow developers to finalize the algorithm for real-time operations.  A final algorithm will be delivered around the end of September, and the operational readiness review and briefing to the SPSRB is expected to occur in October.  (A. Schumacher, S. Longmore, J. Dostalek, J. Knaff)

    Seasonal updates to the Monte Carlo Wind Speed Probability product:  Seasonal updates to the MC Model were completed in July, upon the receipt of the final 2013 N.W. Pacific b-decks from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.  The updated algorithm and error statistic files were delivered to C. Sampson at the Naval Research Lab and M. DeMaria and the National Hurricane Center.  (A. Schumacher)

    PSDI and Cal/Val projects operational tropical cyclone products updated: Work continued on the PSDI and Cal/Val projects to replace the old, statistical retrieval algorithm used to create operational tropical cyclone products with the new MIRS retrievals from both the AMSU instrument and the ATMS instrument.  The activities included a teleconference with the MIRS development team, code revisions, and interaction with NDE and OSPO.  (J. Dostalek)

    2014 HFIP Demonstration:  The National Hurricane Center has selected SPICE as one of the HFIP Stream 1.5 models it will use during the 2014 demonstration period (1 Aug – 31 Oct 2014) for tropical cyclone intensity guidance.  (K. Musgrave)

    Proposals to NWS:  Two proposals were submitted for consideration to “Round 1 of Research to Operation Initiative.”  The first  (S. Fletcher, PI) addresses the potential for assimilating IR wind proxy data in the HWRF model as an alternative to ad hoc vortex initialization methods currently used and the more difficult task of assimilating radiances in cloudy/rainy scenes.  The second (K. Musgrave, PI) proposes to expand the Statistical Prediction of Intensity from a Consensus Ensemble (SPICE), currently using on GFS-based, official LGEM/SHIPS and LGEM/SHIPS run on regional models (HWRF and GFDL), to use the suite of available global models.  (J. Knaff, K. Musgrave, S. Fletcher)

Mesoscale Research

  • Mesoscale Research Product Development

    NOAA/NWS AWIPS II Photo Storm Report System Concept: Collected NWS forecaster feedback from informal photo storm reports via social media and developed concept for an AWIPS II Photo Storm Report System that could overlay storm reports from trained spotters, emergency management, storm chasers, public from a mobile phone application. Reports would be able to be overlaid with satellite, radar, and other AWIPS display data, along with corresponding geo-located photo. Abstracts have been submitted to 2014 AGU Fall meeting and 2015 AMS annual meeting. Currently researching best proposal route. (S. Longmore, D. Bikos, D. Lindsey, S. Miller, E. Szoke, D. Hillger, R. Brummer)

    NWS forecaster feedback collected from informal photo storm reports for an AWIPS II Photo Storm Report System.

    NAM Synthetic Imagery Processing to Operations:  In 2012, CIRA received EOY funds to begin generating synthetic GOES imagery from the operational NAM CONUS Nest model by running the CRTM on the S4 Supercomputer in Wisconsin.  After being initially set up the first year, the real-time generation of imagery has continued, including being converted to AWIPS, AWIPS-2, and NAWIPS formats and sent to the NWS for use in their operations.  Based on positive feedback from the NWS and CIRA about the synthetic imagery, the NWS Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), who runs the NAM CONUS Nest model operationally, has decided to begin running the CRTM themselves to generate the imagery.  Below is an example forecast image from the 10 July 2014 run, the day that the processing switched from CIRA to EMC.  RAMMB/CIRA will continue to assist in the delivery of the imagery to the NWS.  (D. Lindsey, L. Grasso)

    Figure.  Example forecast IR synthetic satellite image from the 4-km NAM CONUS valid on 12 July 2014 at 12 UTC, based on a 60-hour forecast.  EMC has taken over the generation of the synthetic imagery (from CIRA/RAMMB) as of 10 July 2014.

    ORI Product: Progress continues on a manuscript that will be submitted to a journal. Planning meetings occurred to collect GPM and ORI data for upcoming atmospheric river events this winter.  This data will be utilized to see how the ORI product may improve precipitation estimates from the GPM satellite.  (B. Connell)

    Experimental product using MIRS Retrievals:  As an action item following the GOES-R satellite liaisons visit to CIRA on 2-3 September 2014, an example product showing critical cold temperature regions over Alaska was sent to Eric Stevens, the liaison to the Alaska region.  During the winter months over Alaska, temperatures at the flying altitudes for jet aircraft can become cold enough to gel the fuel in the tanks, typically around -65°C.  Radiosonde data are sparse in the Arctic, so MIRS retrievals are being investigated to determine if they may be of assistance in locating the cold areas.  Figure 1 shows the product from a NOAA-19 pass around 00Z 25 February 2014.  The product shows the coldest temperature measured by the MIRS retrievals at each footprint.  Minimum temperatures above -65°C are plotted in black.  If the minimum temperature is -65°C or colder, the temperature is written in red, and two numbers are placed to the right of the temperature.  The bottom number is the lowest altitude (measured in hundreds of feet) at which the -65°C threshold is met, and the upper number is altitude to which the cold air extends.  The blue box outlines the MIRS retrieval to be compared with the Barrow, AK radiosonde (Figure 2).  Typical of a satellite retrieval, the temperature profile (black) does not contain the vertical structure of the radiosonde (blue).  The dip of the temperature below the cold threshold is captured, however.  This example was forwarded to Kristine Nelson, the Meteorologist in Charge at the Anchorage NWSFO to get her feedback.  If the product is deemed useful, other satellite retrievals may be used in addition to MIRS, such as ATMS MIRS or NUCAPS.  (J. Dostalek)

    Figure 1. Lowest temperatures for each footprint of a MIRS retrieval from NOAA-19 overpass around 00Z 25 February 2014.  Where the coldest temperature is equal to or less than -65°C, the value is plotted in red, along with the lower and upper bounds (hundreds of feet) of the cold layer listed to the right of the temperature value.  The location of Barrow, AK is identified, and the blue box indicates the MIRS profile to be compared with the Barrow radiosonde in Figure 2.

    Figure 2. Barrow Radiosonde of 00Z 25 February 2014 (blue) and collocated MIRS retrieval (black).  The red vertical line indicates -65°C.

    VIIRS Images of Flooding in Paraguay:  Following a request from Laura Furgione (NWS), VIIRS imagery was collected and provided by D. Lindsey and C. Seaman showing significant flooding of the Paraguay River near Asuncion.  The image below is a natural color example (from C. Seaman) generated from I-bands-1, -2, and -3 showing the swollen river on 30 June 2014.  Also provided were raw but enhanced I-band-1 images both before and after the flooding in order to assess its extent.  (D. Lindsey, D. Hillger, C. Seaman)

    Figure. VIIRS natural color image (I-bands-1, -2, and -3) over South America from 30 June 2014 showing river flooding near Asuncion, Paraguay.

    Hurricane Iselle Imagery: At the request of STAR, VIIRS Imagery has been provided to STAR focusing on Hurricane Iselle which hit the Hawaiian Islands on 8 August 2014.  Some of the imagery provided has been posted on the STAR JPSS website at  (D. Hillger, D. Lindsey, C. Seaman, S. Miller)

    Low Latency VIIRS EDR Imagery: After desiring lower latency VIIRS Imagery ever since the launch of S-NPP, the imagery is now available with “zero” latency from GRAVITE.  Thanks to the GRAVITE leadership, the lower latency VIIRS Imagery is being made available through 30 November 2014 to cover the hurricane season, since it was shown in our requests that the DNB/NCC Imagery has been much more useful for analysts and forecasters when made available with latency as low as possible.  The new products now available with low latency are the Day-Night-Band (DNB) SDR, Near Constant Contrast (NCC) EDR, the 6 M-band EDRs, and the 5 I-band EDRs.  This makes the EDRs available ahead of the equivalent M- and I-band SDRs.  Of course, the VIIRS latency inherently includes the delay involved in downloading and transferring the data to NSOF, but eliminates additional latency that made Imagery latency be as much as 6 to 7 hours for most products.  That latency is now on the order of 2 hours, which includes some additional time needed to query and capture the VIIRS data from GRAVITE.  (D. Hillger, S. Finley)

  • Mesoscale Research Future Satellite Studies

    Upgrades to Alaska-centric VIIRS Imagery Products on RAMSDIS Online: Several upgrades have been made to the VIIRS Imagery products available for the Alaska region on RAMSDIS Online. The first improves the display of imagery made using SDR data. Initially, the imagery products (except for Day/Night Band) were produced using Imagery EDR data. However, difficulties in acquiring EDR data in an efficient, timely manner led to a switch to SDR-based imagery. This exposed an error in handling the bow-tie deletion lines that resulted in significant artifacts when the satellite orbit transitioned from ascending to descending (Figure 1). This error has been fixed and these artifacts have been removed (Figure 2). CIRA is working closely with GRAVITE to improve access to Imagery EDRs, with the goal of restoring the EDR-based Imagery products. The second upgrade was to implement a “dynamic scaling” algorithm for the display of Day/Night Band (DNB) imagery that works under all natural lighting conditions.  This will be the subject of a forthcoming “Seeing the Light: VIIRS in the Arctic” blog post. Imagery products for the Alaska region are available for viewing at the RAMSDIS Online VIIRS page: (C. Seaman)


    Figure 1: VIIRS “Natural Color” composite of I-1, I-2 and I-3 SDR files from 17:45 UTC 19 June 2014, with visible artifacts due to improper handling of bowtie deletion lines.


    Figure 2. VIIRS “Natural Color” composite of I-1, I-2 and I-3 SDR files from 17:37 UTC 30 June 2014, showing improved handling of bowtie deletion lines.

    New VIIRS Day/Night Band Scaling Algorithm in development:  The “Seeing the Light: VIIRS in the Arctic” blog has been updated with a post titled, “Revisiting Scaling on the Solstice”. This post discusses a new method – developed at CIRA – for scaling VIIRS Day/Night Band imagery across the terminator. This new scaling method is demonstrated to be an improvement over previous methods, and compares favorably to the Near Constant Contrast EDR product (see example figures below). Such scaling is important to high latitude users of Day/Night Band data who may not have access to Near Constant Contrast imagery. The terminator is a constant presence in the high latitudes at night during the summer months as well as in the daytime during winter months. Details on the scaling method and additional examples may be found on the “Seeing the Light” blog at:  (C. Seaman)


    Figure: VIIRS Day/Night Band image from 13:48 UTC 21 June 2014. This image was produced using a new scaling method referred to as “erf-dynamic scaling.” The day/night terminator passes through the middle of the image.


    Figure: VIIRS Near Constant Contrast image from the same time as the previous figure, shown for comparison purposes.

    GOES-14 1-minute Data: GOES-14 was reactivated on 14 August 2014, and resumed collecting 1-minute data on the Super Rapid Scan Operations for Research (SRSOR) schedule until 28 August.  The primary purpose for this test was to gather examples of severe convection with 1-minute time steps in preparation for GOES-R.  The NWS is unable to view GOES-14 data in operations, so CIRA/RAMMB collected the data via its ground station, converting it to AWIPS-1, AWIPS-2, and NAWIPS formats, and sent it to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and other forecast offices for use in operations.  Multiple blog entries were written by the NWS detailing its use in operations.  (D. Lindsey, D. Molenar, K. Micke)

    Synthetic Imagery over Alaska: A newly-funded GOES-R Risk Reduction project involves generating synthetic imagery over Alaska and Hawaii.  CIRA/RAMMB is working with Brad Ferrier (NCEP/EMC) to take output from the NAM Alaska Nest model and simulate the ABI bands.  Below is the first sample 10.35 µm IR image, based on a 24-hour forecast.  (D. Lindsey, L. Grasso)

    Figure. Synthetic GOES-R ABI 10.35 µm image based on a 24-hour forecast of the NAM Alaska Nest valid at 00Z on 17 July 2014.

    Summer Experiment at the Aviation Weather Testbed: The week of 11-15 August 2014 is the Summer Experiment at the Aviation Weather Testbed in Kansas City, MO.  CIRA is providing several products for evaluation, including GOES-R synthetic imagery from both the NSSL WRF and the NAM CONUS Nest, Geocolor, and is providing a data feed for GOES-14 1-minute imagery.  Amanda Terborg, the GOES-R liaison at the Aviation Weather Center, is providing a blog with multiple updates per data here: .  E. Szoke is participating in person during this first week of the experiment.  (E. Szoke, D. Lindsey)

    Visit to NRL:  L. Grasso visited the Naval Research Lab (NRL) in Monterey 22-25 July 2014.  He taught Yi Jin and Jason Nachamkin (NRL COAMPS modeling team) how to adapt the COAMPS microphysical parameterization to the CRTM package and how to generate GOES-15 synthetic imagery from the model runs (see figure below). NRL’s goal is to generate real-time synthetic satellite imagery for COAMPS-TC forecasts.  He also gave a seminar at NRL.  Extremely positive feedback was received from Drs. Jim Doyle and Yi Jin (NRL) following Louie’s visit, including this email from Dr. Doyle: “I also wanted to thank you for your support of Dr. Grasso’s visit and collaboration with our group.  As Yi noted, his visit was very productive and his seminar was well received.  The collaboration has the potential to greatly improve our ability to evaluate our model cloud predictions and parameterizations.  We look forward to continued productive collaboration with Dr. Grasso.”  (L. Grasso)

    Figure. GOES-15 synthetic image based on NRL’s COAMPS/CRTM model run for 24 July 2014.



    Training metrics for the quarter:

    •  Teletraining:

            7 VISIT teletraining sessions have been delivered.  There were 15 teletraining signups, 40 students participated.

    • Learning Management System (LMS) audio / video playback modules:

    Registrations:  116
    Completions:  83
    LMS totals from January 2005 through 10 September, 2014:
    Completions: 4758

    Definitions used in LMS metrics:
    Registrations:  The number of students who either clicked on the course, or actually took the course, but did not complete the quiz or achieve a passing grade upon taking the quiz.  A student may have registered for multiple courses.
    Completions:  The number of students that achieved a passing grade on a quiz for a course.  A student may have completed multiple courses this way.

    VISIT Satellite Chats:
    Chat sessions during this quarter included SRSO-R applications of 1-minute imagery and various GOES-R products related to severe thunderstorms.  Al Cope (NWSO WFO PHL) also was a guest lecturer who presented on ENTLN lightning data analysis of a tornado event in Massachusetts. 

    As of 10 September, 2014, there have been 61 VISIT Satellite Chat sessions for a total of 80 NWS forecast office signups. 

    Recorded versions of past satellite chat sessions are available here:

    Ongoing development of new VISIT training sessions:

    • Sky cover forecasting with synthetic imagery.
    • 1-minute SRSOR GOES visible imagery applications

    VISIT web-page traffic:

    • The following is a summary of VISIT web-page traffic for the quarter (through 11 September), there were 4,012 page visits for the quarter:

    VISIT Meteorological Interpretation Blog – (  The blog averages about 400 pageviews per month.

    A blog entry made this quarter to the VISIT blog related to the GOES-14 SRSOR 1-minute imagery for severe thunderstorm events in May.  There was considerable interest in the blogs and these can be used in the future for more formal training on GOES-R 1-minute imagery.

    Meetings and Calls

    VISIT/SHyMet had conference calls on 30 June, 5 August, and 12 September 2014.

    The satellite liaison’s (Chad Gravelle, Michael Folmer, Amanda Terborg, Bill Line, Jordan Gerth, and Eric Stevens) visited CIRA in early September 2014.  Discussions included training topics and interactions to work with individual liaison’s to develop new training.  For example, D. Bikos will work with Chad Gravelle on 1-minute GOES visible imagery training in preparation for an experiment on 1-minute imagery.  Also, D. Bikos will work with Chad on training related to new water vapor channels that will be available with GOES-R. 

    D. Bikos attended the American Meteorological Society Mountain Meteorology Conference in San Diego, CA in August 2014.  An oral presentation titled “The Orographic Rain Index (ORI) Product at CIRA” was delivered.  An extended abstract was submitted as well, which will be posted online in the near future.

    Ed Szoke represented the CIRA GOES-R Proving Ground team at the 2014 Aviation Weather Testbed Summer Experiment that was held at the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City from 11 to 15 August.  The one-week experiment focused on improving forecasts of ceiling, visibility and convection of concern to aviation.  Five experimental forecast desks were staffed by a wide variety of participants from research institutes, operational centers, forecast offices, private industry and local staff from the operational AWC.  A number of new products were displayed that were used to issue standard and experimental forecasts.  CIRA GOES-R Proving Ground products that were used included Synthetic Imagery (including water vapor channels and low-cloud/fog related imagery) and GeoColor imagery.  GeoColor is an overview type product that takes advantage of advances that will be available with GOES-R as well as Polar orbiting satellites.  The GeoColor imagery will next be undergoing an evaluation within operations at the AWC.

    D. Bikos and D. Lindsey visited the NWS forecast office in Cheyenne, WY on 10 September 2014.  The objective of the visit was to discuss CIRA GOES-R proving ground products, as well as training topics related to VISIT / SHyMet. 

    D. Bikos gave a remote presentation to the SART (Satellite User Readiness Training) team in August 2014 to share training experiences of the VISIT/SHyMet team.

  • SHyMet

    1. Preparations for proposed SHyMet course:  GOES-R Instruments and Products

    A recorded version of the following training session has been made available and added to NOAA’s CLC LMS.  It will be included in the GOES-R Instrument and Products course in the future:

    In cooperation with funding received from a Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Grant, Josh King created a brief recorded presentation on “Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission overview.  Josh is a recent MS graduate from CSU’s Atmospheric Sciences Department who has been working with the data.  Data from the GPM constellation has many potential applications including validation of the ORI product mentioned above and inclusion in other products already produced such as the Ensemble Tropical Rainfall Potential (eTRaP).  If you are interested in viewing the recording and providing feedback before the module is officially released, you can check out the recording here:

    2. Metrics for the 4 existing SHyMet courses:

    Metrics for the 4 SHyMet courses:

    SHyMet Course

    Total since debut

    June – August 2014

    Course Debut












    April 2006






    January 2010






    August 2010






    March 2011

    Intern:  44 Registrations; 14 known completions

    Over the past couple of years, the NWS experienced budget cuts that resulted in a hiring freeze and much reduced training.  It is good to see that the course completions are starting to pick up again.

    3. International training that builds on efforts of the VISIT and SHyMet Programs, and enhances communication and exchange of information with international training partners:

    7th Meeting of the WMO Virtual Laboratory Management Group:  B. Connell attended the 7th Meeting of the Virtual Laboratory Management Group hosted by Roshydromet and the Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU) at RSHU in St. Petersburg, Russia, 22-26 July 2014.  The Virtual Laboratory (VLab) ( was established under the WMO Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) to promote effective use of satellite meteorology throughout the WMO member countries.  The VLab consists of members from major satellite operators across the globe collaborating with WMO centres of excellence.  Bernie gave two presentations: “CIRA and NOAA Contributions to the WMO VLab” and “GEONETCast Americas (GNC-A) Training Activities.”  One of the items brought up at the meeting that has relevance to NWS training is a document in progress regarding Enabling Skills: “Satellite Skills and Knowledge for Meteorologist Forecasters.”  (B. Connell)

    4. Community Outreach:  Nothing to report this quarter.

  • International

    Monthly International Weather Briefings
    The WMO Virtual Laboratory Regional Focus Group of the Americas and Caribbean conducted 3 monthly bilingual (English/Spanish) weather briefings (17 July, 21 August, and 11 September 2014).  The briefings made use of VISITview software to present GOES and POES satellite Imagery from CIRA and GoToWebinar for image and voice communication over the Internet.  There were participants from the U.S.: CIRA, the NWS International Desk at WPC/NCEP, NWS Training Division, CIMSS at the Aviation Weather Center , and UCAR/COMET as well as outside the U.S.: Antigua, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Panamá, Peru, and St. Kitts and Nevis.  The participants include researchers and students as well as forecasters and other trainers.  The 3 sessions were well attended as represented by 11 countries each month reaching 34, 16, and 45 participants respectively for July, August, and September 2014.  Mike Davison at NCEP International Desk led the discussions.  Typically, the sessions include a look at Water Vapor imagery for a synoptic overview of Central America and the Caribbean as well as for South America.  The IR 10.7 µm imagery and Visible imagery are used to look more closely at weather features.  We look at MJO patterns and the outlook, Total Precipitable Water (TPW) patterns, Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and anomalies.  Imagery from a recent weather feature is often highlighted.  Of particular interest over the past three months are the anomalously warm SSTs in the eastern Pacific and increased tropical cyclone activity.  Recordings of the three sessions as well as previous sessions can be found online: (B. Connell)

    During the last three months, Barbados has also been conducting monthly briefings for the Eastern Caribbean to introduce forecasters in training to the operational forecasters from the region.  CIRA has been assisting with the logistics of the sessions and providing imagery through the rammb server listed above.  (B. Connell)

    Sharing of Imagery and Products
    Imagery for Central and South America and the Caribbean can be viewed at one location through RAMSDIS Online – look for the 4-week archive feature:  ( 
    Look for information on our activities on the VLab/ Regional Training Center web page.

    GEONETCast Americas VLab Training Channel
    B. Connell participated in a GEONETCast Americas (GNC-A) Coordination Group telecon on 16 September 2014.  The discussions focused the revival of the coordination group within the broader international community.  During the past few months, emails have been exchanged with NOAA and Brazil on format of the GEOTIFF files that NOAA is proposing to offer through GNC-A

Infrastructure & Administration

  • Infrastructure

    RAMMB/CIRA IT Role in Power Failure Recoveries:   The RAMMB/CIRA IT team performed system recovery operations needed after 2 power failures.  This included rebuilding systems with crashed disks, hardware replacement, and other tasks needed to get all IT resources back online.  (D. Molenar)

    New Weather Lab Monitors at CIRA: Two new “80 inch” monitors have now replaced the older “55 inch” monitors in the CIRA building weather lab.  The monitors were supplied by CIRA as an upgrade to facilities, and because of their size, were mounted on the wall by CSU personnel.  The new monitors were first used this week in CIRA’s tropical weather discussions which take place through the end of November, after which weather discussions revert to a mid-latitude focus, although significant weather anywhere in the world can be featured at the discretion of the presenter.  The lab has 7 RAMSDIS systems that pull in imagery from several geostationary satellites: GOES, MSG, and MTSat/Himawari, as well as imagery from AVHRR, MODIS, and VIIRS.  Any of those 7 systems can be presented for the audience on either or both of the 2 large monitors.  Weather discussions take place at 3:00 pm daily and last approximately a half hour.  Several meteorologists from CIRA and RAMMB lead the discussion for 1 week on a rotating basis, cycling through the available meteorologists approximately every 3 months.  See accompanying imagery of the new monitors.  (D. Hillger)

    Figure caption:  CIRA’s new monitors, and of some of the computer systems that feed the monitors, with A. Schumacher leading the daily CIRA weather discussion.

    Figure caption: A closer view of one of the new CIRA weather lab monitors showing a RAMDIS display of water vapor imagery over North Africa, looking at the genesis regions for tropical cyclones.  A. Schumacher is at the controls!

    RAMMB/CIRA AWIPS II simulated image products:  Documentation and installation assistance was provided to WFO personnel to install RAMMB/CIRA AWIPS II simulated image products.  (D. Molenar)

    Two new NAWIPS products:  Automated real-time generation and LDM distribution of two new NAWIPS products (Atlantic and East Pacific GeoColor) distribution was implemented.  (D. Molenar)

  • System Administration

    New Data Storage Devices:  Two new 50+ TB NAS devices were implemented for tropical cyclone and VIIRS ATMS data storage.  (D. Molenar)

  • Publications, Presentations, and Awards

    To Accepted and Submitted Publications  To Presentations and Posters


    • Refereed

    Cao, C., X. (J.) Xiong, R. Wolfe, F. DeLuccia, Q. (M.) Liu, S. Blonski, G. Lin, M. Nishihama, D. Pogorzala, H. Oudrari, and D.W. Hillger, 2014: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Sensor Data Record (SDR) User’s Guide, NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 142A, 52 pp.

    Cintineo, J.L., M.J. Pavolonis, J.M. Sieglaff, and D.T. Lindsey, 2014: An empirical model for assessing the severe weather potential of developing convection. Wea. Forecasting, 29, 639-653.

    Goni, G. J, J.A. Knaff, and I-I. Lin, 2014: [The Tropics] Tropical Cyclone Heat Content [in “State of the Climate in 2013”]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95:7, S99-S100.

    Grasso, L.D., D.T. Lindsey, K. Lim, A. Clark, and D. Bikos, 2014: Evaluation of and Suggested Improvements to the WSM6 Microphysics in WRF-ARW Using Synthetic and Observed GOES-13 Imagery, Monthly Weather Review, 142:10, 3635-3650. 

    Johnson, R.H., R.S. Schumacher, J.H. Ruppert, Jr., D.T. Lindsey, J.E. Ruthford, and L. Kriederman, 2014: The role of convective outflow in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Mon. Wea. Rev.142:9, 3061-3080.

    Lindsey, D.T., L.D. Grasso, J.F. Dostalek, and J. Kerkmann, 2014: Use of the GOES-R split window difference to diagnose deepening low-level water vapor. J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 53:9, 2005-2016.

    • Nonrefereed

    Bikos, D., E. Szoke, S. Kidder, S.D. Miller, and H. Gosden, 2014: The Orographic Rain Index (ORI) Product at CIRA. Amer. Meteor. Soc. Mountain Meteorology Conference, 18-22 August, San Diego, CA.

    red arrow


    • Refereed 

    Ali, M., N. Sharma, J.A. Knaff, 2014: A Soft-computing Cyclone Intensity Prediction Scheme for the Western North Pacific Ocean. Atmospheric Science Letters.

    Grasso, L.D., D.T. Lindsey, C.J. Seaman, and B. Stocks, 2014: Satellite Observations of Plume-Like Streaks in a Cloud Field. J. Appl. Remote Sensing.

    Knaff, J.A., S.P. Longmore, R.T. DeMaria, D.A. Molenar, 2014: Improved tropical cyclone flight-level wind estimates using routine infrared satellite reconnaissance. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.

    Lang, T.J., S.A. Rutledge, B. Dolan, P. Krehbiel, W. Rison, D.T. Lindsey, 2014: Lightning in Wildfire Smoke Plumes Observed in Colorado during Summer 2012. Mon.Wea.Rev.

    Schmit, T., S. Goodman, M. Gunshor, J. Sieglaff, A. Heidinger, S. Bachmeier, A. Terborg, J. Feltz, K. Ba, S. Rudlosky, D.T. Lindsey, R. Rabin, and C. Schmidt, 2014: Rapid refresh imagery of significant events: preparing users for the next generation of geostationary operational satellites. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

    Tourville, N., G. Stephens, M. DeMaria, 2014: Cloudsat and A-TRAIN Observations of Tropical Cyclones. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

    • Nonrefereed


    • Refereed 

    Balaguru, K., S. Taraphdar, L.R. Leung, G.R. Foltz, J.A. Knaff, 2014: Cyclone-cyclone interactions: A self-regulatory mechanism for tropical cyclone activity. Geophy. Res. Let.

    Gochis, D., R. Schumacher, K. Friedrich, N. Doesken, M. Kelsch, J. 4 Sun, K. Ikeda, D.T. Lindsey, A. Wood, B. Dolan, S. Matrosov, A. Newman, K. Mahoney, S. Rutledge, R. Johnson, P. Kucera, P. Kennedy, D. Sempere-Torres, M. Steiner, R. Roberts, J. Wilson, W. Yu, V. Chandrasekar, R. Rasmussen, A. Anderson, B. Brown, 2014: The great Colorado flood of September 2013. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.

    Grasso, L.D., D.W. Hillger, M. Sengupta, 2014:  Demonstrating the Utility of the GOES-R 2.25 µm band for Fire Retrieval. Geophysical Research Letters.

    Van Cleave, D., J.F. Dostalek, and T. Vonder Haar, 2014: The Dynamics and Snowfall Characteristics of Three Types of Extratropical Cyclone Comma Heads Categorized by Infrared Satellite Imagery. Weather and Forecasting.

    • Nonrefereed               red arrow

    Seaman, C., D. Hillger, T. Kopp, R. Williams, S. Miller and D.T. Lindsey, 2014: Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Imagery Environmental Data Record (EDR) User’s Guide. NOAA Technical Report, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, DC.


    Brummer, R., E. Szoke, D.T. Lindsey, S.D. Miller, B.H. Connell, L.D. Grasso, D.A. Molenar, 2014: CIRA Proving Ground Activities. (oral presentation) EUMETSAT 2014 Meteorological Satellite Conference, 22-26 September, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brummer, R., D.T. Lindsey, L.D. Grasso, D.W. Hillger, E. Szoke, D. Bikos, 2014: Synthetic Satellite Imagery Development at CIRA. (poster presentation) EUMETSAT 2014 Meteorological Satellite Conference, 22-26 September, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Figure caption:  Renate Brummer presenting a poster on synthetic imagery at the EUMETSAT Satellite Conference in Geneva.  Also pictured on the right is Ivan Csiszar (STAR/SMCD).

    Connell, B.H., 2014: GEONETCast Americas (GNC-A) Training Activities, 7th Meeting of the World Meteorological Organization Virtual Laboratory Management Group (WMO VLMG-7), RSHU, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 23 July 2014.

    Connell, B.H., 2014: NOAA/USA Contributions to the WMO VLab, 7th Meeting of the World Meteorological Organization Virtual Laboratory Management Group (WMO VLMG-7), RSHU, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 24 July 2014.

    Grasso, L., 2014: Observed Dust Characteristics from MODIS and Idealized Dust Plumes. (oral presentation) CIRA Retreat at Tamasag, Fort Collins, CO.

    Knaff, J.A., G. Chirokova, M. DeMaria, R. DeMaria, J.F. Dostalek, A.B. Schumacher, and S. Longmore, 2014: Opportunities to Improve Tropical Cyclone Forecasts with JPSS and GOES-R. 2014 GOES-R/JPSS OCONUS R2O Interchange Meeting,  NOAA Inouye Regional Center, Honolulu, HI, 30 July 2014.

    Knaff, J.A., D.T. Lindsey, L.D. Grasso, C. Seaman, S.D. Miller, K. Micke, E. Szoke, and D. Bikos, 2014:  CIRA/RAMMB Support to OCONUS and Future Plans, 2014 GOES-R/JPSS OCONUS R2O Interchange Meeting,  NOAA Inouye Regional Center, Honolulu, HI, 31 July 2014.

    Miller, S.D., W. Straka III, A.S. Bachmeier, T.J. Schmit, P.T. Partain, and Y-J. Noh, 2014: Fire on High—Unique Perspectives on the Chelyabinsk Meteor from Earth-Viewing Environmental Satellites. (oral presentation) EUMETSAT 2014 Meteorological Satellite Conference, 22-26 September, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Miller, S.D, W. Straka III, S. Mills, C. Elvidge, T. Lee, J. Solbrig, A. Walther, A. Heidinger, S. Weiss, 2014: The VIIRS Day/Night Band Lights the Way toward a New Era in Nocturnal Environmental Characterization. (oral presentation) EUMETSAT 2014 Meteorological Satellite Conference, 22-26 September, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Miller, S.D., Y-J. Noh, C. Wesslen, A. Ekman, M. Tjernstroem, 2014: Multi-Satellite Obsevations of Summertime Mixed-Phase Boundary Layer Clouds over the Arctic Ocean. (poster presentation) EUMETSAT 2014 Meteorological Satellite Conference, 22-26 September, Geneva, Switzerland.


    Proposal Reviews:  D. Hillger volunteered to review proposals for the NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST) program.  Three (3) proposals were reviewed and submitted online.  (D. Hillger)

    VIIRS SDR Users’ Guide: D. Hillger is working with Lori Brown to standardize the new NOAA Technical Report (TR) procedures.  A gap in responsibility caused the NOAA TR processing to become out of whack and resulted in duplicate NOAA TR numbering.  Those duplicate numbers have now been resolved and the new procedures are being finalized.  The bottom line is that the VIIRS SDR Users’ Guide is now available as NOAA TR NESDIS 142A, as produced by the VIIRS SDR Team.  That User’s Guide is now available on the STAR JPSS website at under the Science Documents heading.  That TR accompanies the VIIRS EDR Imagery Users’ Guide already available at that location.  The Imagery Users’ Guide, however, still needs to finish the new procedures for peer review before it will be assigned a NOAA TR sequence number. (D. Hillger)


  • Travel






    B. Connell
    St. Petersburg, Russia *
    WMO VLMG Meeting
    JPSS VLab
    20-27 July
    L. Grasso
    Monterey, CA
    Naval Research Lab
    21-26 July
    J. Knaff
    Honolulu, HI *
    OCONUS JPSS/GOES-R Proving Ground Meeting
    GOESR3 S. Goodman
    28 July-2 August
    E. Szoke
    Kansas City, MO
    AWC Testbed
    GOESR3 Proving Ground
    10-15 August
    D. Lindsey
    Riverton, WY/Rapid City, SD *
    NWS Offices Visits
    11-13 August
    D. Bikos
    San Diego, CA
    AMS Mountain Meteorology Conference
    FY13 SHyMet
    17-22 August
    D. Molenar
    Miami, FL *
    National Hurricane Center
    18-21 August
    D. Molenar
    Huntsville, AL *
    SPoRT EPDT Meeting
    GOESR3 S. Goodman
    22-26 August
    J. Knaff
    Monterey, CA
    Naval Meeting
    2-5 September
    D. Bikos
    Boulder, CO
    Liaison COMET Meeting
    3 September
    A. Schumacher
    Boulder, CO
    Satellite Liaison Meeting
    GOESR3 Proving Ground
    4 September
    D. Bikos
    Cheyenne, WY
    National Weather Office Visit
    10 September
    A. Schumacher
    Miami, FL
    National Hurricane Center
    GOESR3 Proving Ground
    15-18 September
    S. Longmore
    Washington, DC *
    15-19 September
    D. Molenar
    Huntsville, AL
    EPDT Meeting
    22-26 September
    S. Longmore
    Huntsville, AL *
    EPDT Meeting
    22-26 September
    R. Brummer
    Geneva, Switzerland
    EUMETSAT Satellite Conference
    GOESR3 Proving Ground
    22-26 September
    S. Miller
    Geneva, Switzerland
    EUMETSAT Satellite Conference
    22-26 September

    (* denotes explanations of meetings below)

    7th Meeting of the WMO Virtual Laboratory Management Group:  B. Connell attended the 7th Meeting of the Virtual Laboratory Management Group (VLMG) hosted by Roshydromet and the Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU) at RSHU in St. Petersburg, Russia, 22-26 July 2014.  The Virtual Laboratory (VLab) ( was established under the WMO Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) to promote effective use of satellite meteorology throughout the WMO member countries.  The VLab consists of members from major satellite operators across the globe collaborating with WMO centres of excellence.  The meeting included representation from supporting satellite operators [CMA (China), CONAE (Argentina virtually) EUMETSAT (Europe), JMA (Japan virtually), KMA (Korea virtually) NOAA/NESDIS via CIRA, ROSHYDROMET (Russian Federation)] as well as WMO training centers of excellence [Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Barbados, Brazil (virtually), China, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Russian Federation, and South Africa] and other partners.  The VLMG members reported on activities and experiences with the VLab to date and worked on developing the training plan for the next 5 years.  Bernie gave two presentations: “CIRA and NOAA Contributions to the WMO VLab” and “GEONETCast Americas (GNC-A) Training Activities”.  In its 15 years of existence, the VLab has demonstrated its capability to deliver global – scale events on training and education in satellite meteorology.  In the coming years VLab will continue to strength it’s global commitments and address these objectives: 1) To achieve better exploitation of data from the Space Based global observing system for services that are increasingly reliant on satellite data, and 2) To globally share knowledge, experience, methods and tools relate to satellite meteorology, especially in support of services with limited resources. (B. Connell)

    VLMG co-Chairs and the Technical Support Officer; the VLMG-7 poster; and Sunset at 11 PM for the 7th WMO Virtual Laboratory Management Group Meeting held at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg, Russia, 22-25 July 2014. 

    OCONUS Proving Ground Meeting: J. Knaff traveled to Honolulu, HI to participate in the JPSS/GOES-R OCONUS Technical Interchange Meeting.  He met the key players, made observations and collected information on the JPSS and GOES-R Proving Ground efforts OCONUS.  The group visited the Honolulu WFO, JTWC, Honolulu Community college, and the NOAA Inouye Regional Center.  Outcomes include providing CIRA scientist participation information and a possible spin up of a Tropical Cyclone Initiative.  (J. Knaff)

    NWS Offices Visits:  D. Lindsey traveled to the Riverton, WY, and Rapid City, SD, NWS offices on 11-13 August 2014 to meet with their forecasters and discuss GOES-R-related topics.  Both offices are actively involved in evaluating some of CIRA’s GOES-R Proving Ground products.  It was extremely beneficial to talk with the forecasters themselves and have them show how they issue forecast products using AWIPS.  Feedback was also gathered on what type of training they want to receive on GOES-R.  In September, D. Lindsey and D. Bikos also visited the Cheyenne WFO.  (D. Lindsey, D. Bikos)

    National Hurricane Center (NHC) Tropical Systems Branch (TSB) Visit: D. Molenar visited the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Tropical Systems Branch (TSB) from 19-22 August 2014.  The purpose of the visit was to review and document the TSB real-time McIDAS-based satellite data ingest, and to provide training to new staff members on the ingest and on general McIDAS utilization.   Meetings with TSB, NCO, and OPC staff were also held to discuss future AWIPS II experimental satellite product requirements.  (D. Molenar)

    SPoRT EPDT Meeting: D. Molenar participated in the 3-day SPoRT EPDT meeting held in Huntsville, AL from 22-26 August 2014.  The meeting included training on the internals of the AWIPS II visualization software, and also provided an opportunity to continue work on the AWIPS II RGB plugin user interface.  (D. Molenar)

    NOAA/NWS/AWIPSII RGB VSP: Attended AWIPSII National Center Perspective (NCP) RGB working group meeting at NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) in Suitland, MD, 15-19 September 2014. Meeting was coordinated by Michael Folmer and hosted Kevin McGrath (SPoRT) and Kaba Bah (CIMMS). Received an overview of different operational centers forecast desks (WPC, SAB, OPC) and discussed future capabilities of NCP involving satellite RGB data. (S. Longmore)

    NOAA/NESDIS/PSDI/NDE/S-NPP Tropical Cyclone Algorithm: Met with Wei Yu, 15 September 2014 and Liqun Ma, 19 September 2014 to during AWIPSII RGB working group trip to give updates on NPP_TC and AMSU_TC algorithm development.  (S. Longmore)

    NOAA/NWS/AWIPSII RGB:  Attending EPDT software code sprint training 22-26 September 2014 at NASA/National Space and Science Technology Center in Huntsville, AL for additional training on AWIPSII. Focus will be on understanding AWIPSII derived parameters capabilities in D2D perspective and how they can be added to NCP. (S. Longmore)

  • Visitors

    Daniel Nietfeld Visit:  Daniel Nietfeld, the Science and Operations Officer from the Omaha, NE, National Weather Service office, visited CIRA/RAMMB on Tuesday 30 September 2014.  He gave a seminar entitled “The Role of the Mesoanalyst in the NWS WFO During High Impact Events,” and met with the CIRA Proving Ground team to discuss current and future GOES-R products.  (D. Lindsey)

    Michael Bell meeting:  The week of 26 September, the RAMMB tropical cyclone group met with Michael Bell (U. Hawaii) who was the weekly seminar speaker for the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science.  Michael is involved in many NSF and Navy sponsored field experiments and is an expert in the analysis of aircraft and surface based radar observations.  (J. Knaff, K. Musgrave, A. Schumacher, J. Dostalek)

    Brett McDonald Visit:  Brett McDonald, the Science and Operations Officer at the Riverton, Wyoming National Weather Service Office visited RAMMB/CIRA on Monday 22 Sep.   Brett has been involved in the GOES-R Proving Ground for a number of years.   We discussed some possible future products that CIRA can provide for evaluation at Riverton.  (D. Lindsey, D. Bikos)

    GOES-R Satellite Liaisons visit: Michael Folmer (WPC/OPC), Chad Gravelle (OPG), Amanda Terborg (AWC), Bill Line (SPC/HWT), Michael Bowlan (WDTB), Eric Stevens (GINA/Alaska), and Jordan Gerth (CIMSS) visited CIRA 2-3 September 2014.  They, along with Andrea Schumacher (CIRA), serve as GOES-R satellite liaisons at various Centers/Regions associated with the NWS.  Topics of discussion included the GOES-R Proving Ground, current and future GOES-R products developed at CIRA, and plans for GOES-R training activities.  (D. Lindsey, D. Molenar, D. Hillger, A. Schumacher, S. Miller, R. Brummer, S. Longmore, B. Connell, D. Bikos, E. Szoke, C. Seaman, J. Dostalek, K. Musgrave, L. Grasso, R. Borger)

    Meeting with Jim Cogan:  D. Lindsey and D. Hillger met with Dr. Jim Cogan (Army Research Lab) and Dr. Tom Vonder Haar the week of 4-8 August to discuss satellite-related DoD needs, especially with potential use of GOES-R data.  (D. Lindsey, D. Hillger)

    Andy Heidinger Visits RAMMB/CIRA:  A. Heidinger (ASPB) visited RAMMB/CIRA on 28-29 July 2014 to discuss several different ongoing projects.  He leads the VIIRS Cloud Team, so met with the CIRA group who are involved with some of the cloud product validation work.  In addition, Andy and D. Lindsey are co-leads of the GOES-R Risk Reduction program, so some discussions involved plans for the GOES-R3 role in the 2015 Satellite Science Week meeting to be held in Boulder in February 2015.  (D. Lindsey, D. Hillger, S. Miller, C. Seaman, Y. Noh)

    Steve Goodman visits RAMMB/CIRA: Goodman visited RAMMB/CIRA on the afternoon of 21 July 2014.  A large group meeting was held, as well as several meetings with individual scientists.  Several from RAMMB/CIRA talked briefly about GOES-R related projects, and Dr. Goodman gave us some insight into his vision for the near future with respect to GOES-R and research/funding opportunities.  (D. Hillger, D. Lindsey, D. Molenar, J. Knaff, R. Brummer, A. Schumacher, S. Longmore, and many others from CIRA)

    Joint Seminar at CIRA: During the week of 7-11 July, Mike Fiorino and Cecile Penland (ESRL), Johnathan Metz (University of North Dakota), and Connor Dacey (Florida State University) visited CIRA and gave a joint seminar.  Johnathan and Connor discussed their Hollings Scholar work on Gravity Wave Drag in FIM and incorporating WMO verification standards in NCEP models, respectively.   Dr. Fiorino discussed efforts to model tropical cyclone structure using the Tangent-Linear Inverse Modeling (T-LIM), work that was collaboration between J. Knaff, M. Fiorino and C. Penland.   We had quite extensive talks about applying some of these advanced mathematical models to tropical cyclone forecasting projects.  We are hopeful this will lead to collaborative research proposals to predict eye formation in the near future.  (J. Knaff, K. Musgrave)

  • Media Interaction

    RAMMB/CIRA Imagery in Washington Post Blog:  GOES-14 imagery from RAMMB/CIRA of Hurricane Marie was used in this blog post from 25 August 2014 by the Capital Weather Gang from the Washington Post: (D. Lindsey)

    AGU Blog Post CIRA Synthetic Imagery: Dan Satterfield, who has been an on-air meteorologist for 33 years (and is currently with WBOC TV in Salisbury, MD), posted an article on the AGU blogosphere. This article highlights synthetic satellite imagery that is produced at CIRA. In his article, Dan points out the usefulness of such imagery through a direct comparison with observed GOES data. Here is the link to the site:  (L. Grasso, S. Longmore, D. Lindsey)

    VIIRS Imagery provided to British TV Production Company: Wag TV, a production company in the UK, is developing a documentary series for the Discovery Science channel titled, “Mysteries from Space.” The shows will use satellite imagery as the starting point for investigating various phenomena on Earth that have interesting or mysterious stories behind them. Upon request, imagery from the VIIRS Imagery Team blog was provided to Wag TV. The images show “Catatumbo lightning” as seen by the Day/Night Band. These images, and a discussion of Catatumbo lightning, may be found on the VIIRS Imagery Team blog at:  (C. Seaman, D. Hillger)

  • Other Administration

    2014 NOAA IT Security Awareness Course Completed: The entire RAMMB completed the online 2014 NOAA IT Security Awareness Course: the federal employees, as well as CIRA employees with NOAA e-mail addresses.  Certificates of completion are available if needed, but the results are recorded automatically. (D. Hillger, D. Molenar, J. Knaff, D. Lindsey, CIRA employees) 

    End of GIMPAP Program:  Funding ended for the GIMPAP program following FY13, and final reports were collected and posted to this web page:  (D. Lindsey, K. Fryer)

  • Other Training

    Python for Scientists Training:  RAMMB and CIRA research and IT staff completed a week-long training course on use of the python programming language for scientific and mathematical computing.  The course utilized existing meteorological data sets to provide hands-on experience developing python applications can be directly applied to RAMMB/CIRA’s research environment. (D. Molenar, D. Lindsey, J. Knaff, K. Micke, S. Finley, K. Musgrave, C. Seaman, Y. Noh)


    Figure 1. D. Molenar facilitated the week-long Python for Scientists training course held at CIRA.  RAMMB/CIRA Python for Scientists course attendees reviewing python code that reads McIDAS AREA files.

    NOAA Mentor Training Completed:  J. Knaff completed the NOAA mentor training course.

    Diversity Video Viewing: The entire federal contingent at NESDIS/StAR/RAMMB viewed the video “White Face” as part of their EEO/Diversity requirement for FY14.  R. Borger obtained the video from the CSU Libraries and arranged the group viewing.  (D. Hillger, D. Molenar, D. Lindsey, J. Knaff, R. Borger)

    IT Security Awareness Course Completed:  The entire RAMMB completed the online 2014 NOAA IT Security Awareness Course: the federal employees, as well as CIRA employees with NOAA e-mail addresses.  Certificates of completion are available if needed, but the results are recorded automatically.  (D. Hillger, D. Molenar, D. Lindsey, J. Knaff)