Skip to Navigation Skip to content

Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

Search the RAMMB website

Convective Cloud-top Cooling


Scott Lindstrom



Archived Training





Last Updated:



This is training that focuses on cloud-top cooling (CTC), and it replaces previous training on UW Convective Initiation as that product has evolved. The most significant cloud-top cooling is inferred to be the most intense growing convection, and that cooling correlates well with future NEXRAD signals. Vertical cloud growth – detected from satellite by cooling brightness temperatures – is what CTC keys on.

  1. How clouds can give early convective information
  2. How does the UW Cloud-Top Cooling algorithm work
  3. Examples
  4. How can CTC be used in conjunction with synoptic and mesoscale awareness to anticipate future development in NEXRAD

This is an experimental GOES-R Proving Ground Product designed to foster GOES-R readiness.

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based video, YouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (74 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

  2. Live VISIT teletraining (with an instructor leading the session). Check the VISIT Training Calendar to signup for teletraining. The session will last 45 minutes. This teletraining session uses the VISITview software, where a Windows PC with an Internet connection is needed.Please follow the teletraining installation instructions to install the session

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.
  • Sieglaff, J. M., L. M. Cronce, W. F. Feltz, K. M. Bedka, M. J. Pavolonis and A. K. Heidinger, 2011: Nowcasting convective storm initiation using satellite-based box-averaged cloud-top cooling and cloud-type trends. J Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 50, 110-126.
  • Hartung, D. C., J. M. Sieglaff, L. M. cronce and W. F. Feltz, 2012: An inter-comparison of UWCI-CTC Algorithm cloud-top cooling rates with WSR-88D Radar Data. Wea. Forecasting (submitted)
  • Hartung, D. C., J. M. Sieglaff, L. M. Cronce, and W. F. Feltz, 2013: An Inter-Comparison of UW Cloud-Top Cooling Rates with WSR-88D Radar Data. Wea. Forecasting, 28, 463-480.
  • Sieglaff, J. M., L. M. Cronce, and W. F. Feltz, 2013b: Improving satellite-based convective cloud growth monitoring with visible optical depth retrievals. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., In submission.
  • Sieglaff, J. M., D. C. Hartung, W. F. Feltz, L. M. Cronce, and V. Lakshmanan, 2013a: Development and application of a satellite-based convective cloud object-tracking methodology: A multipurpose data fusion tool. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 30, 510-525.
This course is Intermediate

There are no prerequisites


Scott Lindstrom