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VAS Sounding Images of Atmospheric Stability Parameters

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  • 1 Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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Abstract

Local forecasts often rely upon the extrapolation of trends seen in images of clouds from the GOES satellite. This work presents correspondingly high resolution images of atmospheric soundings calculated from the VAS radiometer on GOES. These VAS sounding images vividly depict moisture and stability conditions in preconvective regions, as though GOES were observing the United States with “stability detectors” instead of infrared detectors at 1–3 h intervals and 60 km horizontal resolution. False color images are presented for VAS-derived precipitable water and lifted index fields during two midsummer days that contain a wide variety of preconvective and convective conditions. Since each sounding image requires only 5 min to calculate with an automated regression algorithm on a minicomputer, it should be possible to process VAS data operationally for real-time objective analysis of potential convective instabilities.

Abstract

Local forecasts often rely upon the extrapolation of trends seen in images of clouds from the GOES satellite. This work presents correspondingly high resolution images of atmospheric soundings calculated from the VAS radiometer on GOES. These VAS sounding images vividly depict moisture and stability conditions in preconvective regions, as though GOES were observing the United States with “stability detectors” instead of infrared detectors at 1–3 h intervals and 60 km horizontal resolution. False color images are presented for VAS-derived precipitable water and lifted index fields during two midsummer days that contain a wide variety of preconvective and convective conditions. Since each sounding image requires only 5 min to calculate with an automated regression algorithm on a minicomputer, it should be possible to process VAS data operationally for real-time objective analysis of potential convective instabilities.

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