Demonstration of RGB Composite Imagery at NWS Forecast Offices in Preparation for GOES-R
White, Kristopher ; Fuell, Kevin

The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center is providing red-green-blue (RGB) color composite imagery to collaborating National Weather Service (NWS) offices as a demonstration of future Advanced Baseline Instrument (ABI) capabilities on GOES-R. This imagery is generated from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard the Terra and Aqua polar-orbiting satellites, which offers similar spatial resolution to that of the GOES-R imager. Forecasters at NWS offices currently rely heavily on a suite of geostationary satellite imagery (e.g., visible, infrared (IR), water vapor, IR spectral difference) for applications such as smoke and fog detection and monitoring upper level circulations. While the geostationary satellite imagery offers better temporal resolution than that of polar-orbiting satellites, it does not have the spatial resolution of current polar-orbiting or future GOES satellites. In addition, although RGB imagery is not available from the current GOES satellites, it will be available from the GOES-R ABI. Red-green-blue imagery uses single channels, or channel differences, for each component color to enhance certain features in the atmosphere and at the Earth s surface. As part of the GOES-R Proving Ground, SPoRT has facilitated the use of RGB imagery at collaborating NWS offices by providing the imagery on the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System; producing and delivering training on the use of the imagery; and conducting product evaluations.

Three core multi-spectral RGB products that cover most of the CONUS: a GOES-MODIS hybrid air mass product; a nighttime microphysics product, and a dust product; are being provided by SPoRT to introduce NWS operational forecasters to their potential applications. The products have been particularly useful for the detection of dust plumes over the southwestern CONUS, and fog in the eastern valleys of the Appalachians.

This presentation will discuss the application of various RGB composites at NWS forecast offices to improve short-term forecasting and situational awareness. It will also focus on specific events where evaluations from operational forecasters indicated the multi-spectral RGB products improved awareness over the use of single channel or existing spectral difference imagery. Future capabilities discussed will include the addition of Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite data as a proxy RGB for future GOES-R capabilities as well as the usage of RGB imagery at high latitudes, such as Alaska, and data void regions, such as the parts of the Pacific Ocean.