An evaluation of the GOES-R CI product, which was created by researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH), is currently being conducted at several offices in the Southern Region of the NWS, including here at WFO Huntsville. SPoRT has worked with the UAH team to transition the GOES-R CI product into the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) at some of our collaborative offices. Importantly, this allows for the overlay of other data sets, including radar, satellite and surface or upper-air analyses, which can add context to the CI data. The evaluation period officially kicked off Monday, August 19th and will continue through the end of September. During that time, forecasters at NWS offices in Albuquerque, Melbourne, Miami, Corpus Christi, in addition to Huntsville will be providing analysis of the GOES-R CI product and filling out surveys pertaining to its operational utility. Huntsville is unique in this assessment, in that we are the only office with AWIPS II participating in the evaluation.
The GOES-R CI product is intended to provide forecasters with probabilities of 0-2 hour convective intiation of cloud objects observed in the visible and IR bands of the GOES-East and GOES-West satellites, and serves as a proxy to future GOES-R capabilities. This product has undergone improvements in recent years based on user feedback, and now incorporates NWP model data (RAP), while outputting a probabilistic value, rather than the binary or strength-of-signal values from prior years. The product is expected to show operational benefit, in particular, for assessing downstream locations most susceptible to convective activity, and allowing timely forecast updates for airports and/or outdoor venues.
The HUN WFO is glad to be a part of this evaluation and we hope to provide valuable feedback for the GOES-R CI product developers.