Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Steven J W. Nieman x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Steven J. Nieman
,
Johannes Schmetz
, and
W. Paul Menzel

Abstract

Satellite-derived cloud-motion vector (CMV) production has been troubled by inaccurate height assignment of cloud tracers, especially in thin semitransparent clouds. This paper presents the results of an intercomparison of current operational height assignment techniques. Currently, heights are assigned by one of three techniques when the appropriate spectral radiance measurements are available. The infrared window (IRW) technique compares measured brightness temperatures to forecast temperature profiles and thus infers opaque cloud levels. In semitransparent or small subpixel clouds, the carbon dioxide (CO2) technique uses the ratio of radiances from different layers of the atmosphere to infer the correct cloud height. In the water vapor (H2O) technique, radiances influenced by upper-tropospheric moisture and IRW radiances are measured for several pixels viewing different cloud amounts, and their linear relationship is used to extrapolate the correct cloud height. The results presented in this paper suggest that the H2O technique is a viable alternative to the CO2 technique for inferring the heights of semitransparent cloud elements. This is important since future National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) operations will have to rely on H20-derived cloud-height assignments in the wind field determinations with the next operational geostationary satellite. On a given day, the heights from the two approaches compare to within 60–110 hPa rms; drier atmospheric conditions tend to reduce the effectiveness of the H2O technique. By inference one can conclude that the present height algorithms used operationally at NESDIS (with the C02 technique) and at the European Satellite Operations Center (ESOC) (with their version of the H20 technique) are providing similar results. Sample wind fields produced with the ESOC and NESDIS algorithms using Meteosat-4 data show good agreement.

Full access
Christopher S. Velden
,
Christopher M. Hayden
,
Steven J W. Nieman
,
W. Paul Menzel
,
Steven Wanzong
, and
James S. Goerss

The coverage and quality of remotely sensed upper-tropospheric moisture parameters have improved considerably with the deployment of a new generation of operational geostationary meteorological satellites: GOES-8/9 and GMS-5. The GOES-8/9 water vapor imaging capabilities have increased as a result of improved radiometric sensitivity and higher spatial resolution. The addition of a water vapor sensing channel on the latest GMS permits nearly global viewing of upper-tropospheric water vapor (when joined with GOES and Meteosat) and enhances the commonality of geostationary meteorological satellite observing capabilities. Upper-tropospheric motions derived from sequential water vapor imagery provided by these satellites can be objectively extracted by automated techniques. Wind fields can be deduced in both cloudy and cloud-free environments. In addition to the spatially coherent nature of these vector fields, the GOES-8/9 multispectral water vapor sensing capabilities allow for determination of wind fields over multiple tropospheric layers in cloud-free environments. This article provides an update on the latest efforts to extract water vapor motion displacements over meteorological scales ranging from subsynoptic to global. The potential applications of these data to impact operations, numerical assimilation and prediction, and research studies are discussed.

Full access
Steven J. Nieman
,
W. Paul Menzei
,
Christopher M. Hayden
,
Donald Gray
,
Steven T. Wanzong
,
Christopher S. Velden
, and
Jaime Daniels

Cloud-drift winds have been produced from geostationary satellite data in the Western Hemisphere since the early 1970s. During the early years, winds were used as an aid for the short-term forecaster in an era when numerical forecasts were often of questionable quality, especially over oceanic regions. Increased computing resources over the last two decades have led to significant advances in the performance of numerical forecast models. As a result, continental forecasts now stand to gain little from the inspection or assimilation of cloud-drift wind fields. However, the oceanic data void remains, and although numerical forecasts in such areas have improved, they still suffer from a lack of in situ observations. During the same two decades, the quality of geostationary satellite data has improved considerably, and the cloud-drift wind production process has also benefited from increased computing power. As a result, fully automated wind production is now possible, yielding cloud-drift winds whose quality and quantity is sufficient to add useful information to numerical model forecasts in oceanic and coastal regions. This article will detail the automated cloud-drift wind production process, as operated by the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Full access
Tom H. Zapotocny
,
Steven J. Nieman
,
W. Paul Menzel
,
James P. Nelson III
,
James A. Jung
,
Eric Rogers
,
David F. Parrish
,
Geoffrey J. DiMego
,
Michael Baldwin
, and
Timothy J. Schmit

Abstract

A case study is utilized to determine the sensitivity of the Eta Data Assimilation System (EDAS) to all operational observational data types used within it. The work described in this paper should be of interest to Eta Model users trying to identify the impact of each data type and could benefit other modelers trying to use EDAS analyses and forecasts as initial conditions for other models.

The case study chosen is one characterized by strong Atlantic and Pacific maritime cyclogenesis, and is shortly after the EDAS began using three-dimensional variational analysis. The control run of the EDAS utilizes all 34 of the operational data types. One of these data types is then denied for each of the subsequent experimental runs. Differences between the experimental and control runs are analyzed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the EDAS system to each data type for the analysis and subsequent 48-h forecasts. Results show the necessity of various nonconventional observation types, such as aircraft data, satellite precipitable water, and cloud drift winds. These data types are demonstrated to have a significant impact, especially observations in maritime regions.

Full access