With the launch of Himawari-8 and the new capabilities of the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) payload, meteorologists can monitor the Pacific Ocean basin with increased temporal and spatial resolution, i.e 10 minute imagery at 2 km resolution. For National Centers such as the Ocean Prediction Center and Weather Prediction Center with forecast responsibilities that cover much of the northwest hemisphere, this imagery is integral to their operations. SPoRT has begun providing the suite of RGB products to the National Centers for use in operations.
The Pacific Ocean basin has been quite active this season with multiple occasions where there were 2-3 tropical systems in the basin at the same time. Here is just one of many impressive examples of the utility of AHI imagery available to forecasters. Earlier this week Tropical Storm Etau became post-tropical as it interacted with a mid-latitude frontal system. At the same time Typhoon Kilo was traversing the Pacific. At this point Kilo has weakened to a Tropical Storm and is beginning to interact with the remnants of Etau. Check out OPC’s Facebook page for more examples of AHI imagery in operations (https://www.facebook.com/NWSOPC?fref=nf).