Operational Utility of WindSat at the Medford, OR WFO

Operational forecasting and monitoring weather conditions for marine environments can be particularly difficult, mainly due to the lack of observational networks.  This is why satellite observations can be so useful, especially when components of the already sparse network fail.  Sven Nelaimischkies, a forecaster at the Medford, OR NWS office, recently found some utility in the WindSat data provided by SPoRT, and was kind enough to share this information with us. The Medford office recently had a strong wind event on our coast, that came in two weakly separated shots on the 21st and 22nd. The first day saw storm force winds that knocked out the anemometers and damaged the uplink antenna on buoy 46015. Around 12 hours earlier a pass offshore indicated ~50kt winds ahead of the second front that confirmed that the current warning in place looked on track. Attached is the pass during the middle of the event which was very helpful as the wind data was not available from the buoy at that time.  Buoy 46050 had wave data knocked out shortly after this, but it has since returned, unlike buoy 46015.