Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New NASA Technology Helps Forecasters In Severe Weather Season

Date:
April 29, 2004
Source:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA is providing new technology and satellite data to help forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) create the best possible forecasts of severe springtime weather.

Bolts of Lightning -- Multiple cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes during night-time. Observed during night-time thunderstorm.
Credit: Image NOAA Photo Library, OAR/ERL/NSSL

NASA is providing new technology and satellite data to help forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) create the best possible forecasts of severe springtime weather.

Related Articles


New NASA data gathered from satellites, a lightning ground- tracking network and unmanned vehicles that fly into storms are some of the many tools used by NOAA, the federal agency charged with issuing weather forecasts. This data will help make the severe weather season safer for everyone.

"It's an evolutionary process and partnership between NOAA and NASA," said Bill Patzert, oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "NOAA is the ultimate operational meteorological agency in the world, and NASA is developing state-of-the-art operational and fundamental research to make it better than ever. Together we're looking to the future to provide better and better service to the American public," he said.

NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for monitoring and forecasting severe weather events. They issue watches and warnings for tornadoes, flash floods, non- precipitation events (such as high wind warnings), severe thunderstorms, and flooding, as well as daily weather forecasts. They reach the public with these warnings mainly through NOAA weather radio and the Internet.

NASA uses data from its Earth-observing satellites and models to characterize and understand the way atmosphere, oceans and land interact. "Adding NASA satellite data and model output to NOAA forecasts could lead to more confident seven-day severe local storm forecasts, better prediction of thunderstorm occurrence by three hours, and an increase in tornado warning lead times by 18 minutes," said Dr. Marshall Shepherd, research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

NASA satellite data that enhances NOAA's weather model forecasts include surface wind data from QuikScat and rainfall data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. Launching in June 2004, NASA's Aura satellite will provide temperature and moisture information. That data will provide a clearer atmospheric picture, and it will improve forecast model prediction capabilities.

Better understanding of jet steam locations, temperature, humidity fields and other atmospheric states are critical in assessing the potential for severe weather. Balloon observations taken twice daily at approximately 180 locations in the United States are the main source of this type of information. New NASA satellite observations can fill in the missing data spaces around the United States and surrounding oceans. The NASA-NOAA Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation was formed in 2002 to accelerate the use of satellite data within global-scale weather forecast models operated by NOAA.

NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala., is working closely with NWS forecasters in the southern United States to improve severe weather forecasting. NASA scientists are using data obtained from the ground-based Lightning Mapping Array in northern Alabama to better understand the relationship between lightning flash rates and tornado-producing thunderstorms.

The SPoRT Center provides lightning data to surrounding NWS forecast offices in real time for use in severe weather warning decision-making. "There has been one event where the NASA lightning data prompted NWS forecasters in the Huntsville, Alabama office to issue a tornado warning on a strong convective cell earlier than they would have otherwise," said Dr. William Lapenta, SPoRT Center research meteorologist. A weak tornado occurred after the warning was issued. Research is also underway to improve flooding forecasts by incorporating new satellite data from the NASA Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder instrument into NWS weather forecast models on a regional scale.

In February, NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., flight-tested the Global Positioning System Reflectometer on an unmanned aerial vehicle to collect data in severe weather situations. In 2002, NASA, universities and industries conducted the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study in Florida, the first time a remotely piloted aircraft was used to conduct lightning research.

NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "New NASA Technology Helps Forecasters In Severe Weather Season." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040429052133.htm>.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. (2004, April 29). New NASA Technology Helps Forecasters In Severe Weather Season. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040429052133.htm
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. "New NASA Technology Helps Forecasters In Severe Weather Season." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040429052133.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins