SPoRT Evaluation Begins Today…RGB Imagery for Aviation and Cloud Analysis

As a part of ongoing GOES-R and JPSS Proving Ground activities, NASA SPoRT is conducting an evaluation of various RGB imagery with some of our collaborative NWS offices.  Day/Night Band RGBs, produced by SPoRT and available from the VIIRS instrument onboard Suomi NPP, include both the Radiance RGB and Reflectance RGB products.  Nighttime Microphysics RGBs from the VIIRS and MODIS (Aqua and Terra satellites) instruments will also be evaluated.  The offices participating in the evaluation span a broad area, from Huntsville, Morristown, Nashville and Raleigh in the Southeast, to Albuquerque in the Southwest, and Great Falls at the Front Range of the Northern Rockies.  Through late September and into October, forecasters will be evaluating the utility of these types of imagery from an operational perspective.  The imagery have been made available to WFOs for viewing within their AWIPS I systems, so that they may overlay with other data and/or imagery.  However, imagery are also available online or through ftp download (kmz format).  A plug-in is still required for viewing in AWIPS II, so WFO Huntsville will be utilizing the online option for now.

Nighttime Microsphysics RGB from the VIIRS insrument, valid ~0633 UTC 18 September 2013

SPoRT Nighttime Microsphysics RGB (kmz) from VIIRS, valid ~0633 UTC 18th September 2013

SPoRT Day/Night Band Radiance from VIIRS, valid ~0633 UTC 18th September 2013 (image from WFO Raleigh AWIPS I, courtesy of the Science and Operations Officer)

SPoRT Day/Night Band Radiance from VIIRS, valid ~0633 UTC 18th September 2013 (image from WFO Raleigh AWIPS I, courtesy of the Science and Operations Officer)

A forecaster at WFO Huntsville remarked that “the Nighttime Microphysics imagery…did show the low clouds really well (bright aqua) over north GA this morning and confirmed in greater detail what we were seeing with the 11-3.9 um channel GOES output.”  Other surveys have already been received by staff at the Albuquerque and Raleigh WFOs, so the evaluation is well underway!

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