A new weather satellite to improve forecasts for up to seven days

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The countdown is on to send America’s newest weather satellite into orbit.

“We’re going to launch the NOAA’s JPSS-1the first in a series of four highly advanced polar-orbiting satellites that will improve the accuracy and speed of NOAA’s numerical prediction models and ultimately weather forecasting,” said Ajay Mehta, Acting Deputy Director systems of NOAA Satellite and Information Service.

JPSS-1 is scheduled to launch in 2017, aboard a Delta-II Mission Launch Vehicle and will take advantage of technologies developed by NOAA (Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites) POES and for the Suomi NPP mission satellite, which was launched in October 2011 Credit: Ball Aerospace and Technologies

JPSS, or Joint Polar Satellite System, will be one of two types of satellites operated by NOAA.

“Geostationary, which remains in a fixed position about 22,000 miles above the equator and in polar orbit, which circles the globe at the poles in a much lower orbit, about 500 miles above the surface,” Mehta explained.

Satellites are used by meteorologists when making forecasts, returning images that help tell the current and future weather story.

“[They provide] more accurate and timely observations of the Earth’s atmosphere, land and waters,” Mehta said.

GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Tropical Storm Harvey centered over the Gulf of Mexico just before 8:00 a.m. (CDT) on August 29, 2017. Credit: NOAA

JPSS-1 will be equipped with tools that will significantly improve the accuracy of observations throughout the environment.

“Instruments so precise they can measure temperatures within a tenth of a degree throughout the atmosphere, from the surface of the Earth to the farthest reaches of space,” said Greg Mandt, director of the Joint Polar Satellite System.

The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), one of five instruments that will fly aboard NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) satellite and will provide precise and detailed observations of the atmosphere, temperature and humidity essential for weather forecasting. 1 credit

Each tool will monitor something different, working together to make increased progress in predictions for up to a week.

“All of these instruments work in tandem,” Mandt said. “For example, the VIIRS can tell us the location of a fire and follow a plume of smoke while the CREE The instrument can measure carbon monoxide and methane emanating from fire, allowing us to see where air quality is affected. »

This will help add more time to prepare for inclement weather and approaching tropical systems like we saw with Harvey, Irma and Maria.

GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of three hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic on the afternoon of September 8, 2017. From left to right are: Hurricane Katia, which made landfall in Mexico that night . Hurricane Irma, which passed between Cuba and the Bahamas; and Hurricane José, which thundered in the open sea.
Credit: CIRA

“These well-coordinated preparedness decisions for these storms were based on forecasts that rely on global numerical prediction systems that absolutely need global observing systems, such as polar-orbiting satellites, to make these predictions.” , said Dr. Louis Uccellini, Director of NOAA. National Weather Service.

These new and improved satellites will not only help meteorologists, but also community leaders.

“This will allow decision-makers, emergency managers and the public to prepare and pre-position the resources needed to save lives and protect property,” Uccellini said.

The satellite will be named NOAA 20 once in orbit and is scheduled to launch Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

For WeatherNation, I’m Meredith Garofalo

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