Gridded NUCAPS products developed as part of a multi-organization JPSS PG/RR project are currently being evaluated at the Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Experimental Warning Program (EWP). The project contains contributions by researchers from UW/CIMSS, CSU/CIRA/ UAF/GINA, and SPoRT. NUCAPS soundings are retrieved temperature and moisture soundings from the Suomi-NPP CrIS and ATMS sounders. The evaluation of NUCAPS at HWT is aimed at providing upper air temperature and moisture information in the pre-convection environment to better understand variables that are necessary for convection and severe weather. The Gridded NUCAPS products allows for isobaric plan views of temperature and moisture that forecasters can use to gain confidence in the model output
Forecasters at the HWT-EWP posted some input on the use of the Gridded NUCAPS products. On the Satellite Proving Ground at HWT Blog (http://www.goesrhwt.blogspot.com/2016/04/nucaps-planviews.html), a forecaster noted:
“[Gridded NUCAPS] would be beneficial in the forecasting environment as added temperature data would be available in between standard upper-air launches. This could serve as a good proxy to help judge the strength of a capping inversion, while also possibly serving as an additional information source during winter wx events.
However, the forecaster also noted that the amount of missing data included in the product limits its utility. Currently, the Gridded NUCAPS contains only the highest quality (i.e., “best”) data that comes from a combination of both microwave and infrared (top image below). In this image, the dark blue pixels represent the data that are discarded due to QC issues. However, this quality control can be strict at times and leave out “good” data that can still be useful to the forecasters. When these “good” data are included, there are much more useful data (bottom image below) without any noticeable discontinuities or oddities in the data.
SPoRT plans to use the feedback from HWT-EWP participants to test pushing the inclusion of the “good” quality data to the Gridded NUCAPS product to provide forecasters with more data for their analysis.