Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA ozone satellite improves snowstorm forecasts

08.08.2003


Scientists in sunny, hot Florida are thinking cold thoughts since they added ozone measurements from a NASA satellite into computer weather forecast models and improved several factors in a forecast of a major winter snowstorm that hit the United States in 2000.





When scientists added ozone measurements, predictions of snowstorm intensity, snowfall amounts and the storm track all improved for a storm that hit Washington, D.C. As such, they may be able to do the same for future storms, according to a study published in a recent issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Applied Meteorology.

Kun-Il Jang and Xiaolei Zou, research scientists from Florida State University, used data from NASA’s Earth Probe/Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) satellite to create a more accurate prediction of a January 2000 snowstorm in the Washington metropolitan area. Other researchers included Mel Shapiro of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL), Manuel Pondeca of NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), C. Davis of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colo., and A. Krueger of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


The TOMS satellite monitors daily changes in the amounts of ozone in Earth’s atmosphere stretching from the Earth’s surface into the stratosphere, as high as 30 miles up. In this study, the scientists decided to add ozone data to an historic forecast and improved it.

The scientists added air motions in the upper atmosphere inferred from TOMS measurements of ozone into the computer model, along with lower troposphere readings taken during the event of temperature, humidity, wind, and dewpoint from balloon-borne sensors called radiosondes. Together, the two data sources created an accurate picture of the total atmosphere where the weather occurs. Current forecast models just use the radiosonde data of precipitation and temperature.

"The 36-hour forecasts using the radiosonde data were more accurate than those just using the computer forecast model," Jang said. "The addition of ozone data into the forecast model moved the storm prediction closer to the East coast, which is what really happened." When the ozone data was added into the mix, it reduced errors on predicted storm tracks, especially in the 12- to 24-hours period. The findings were verified with multi-sensor hourly precipitation totals from NOAA/NCEP.

By better knowing when and where the heaviest snow will fall during a storm, public works departments can direct their snow moving equipment and can estimate where problem areas may occur. Other potential uses of this forecast model include 36-hour advanced predictions of different forms of air movement.

Previous research links atmospheric movements, such as wind, heat and moisture to ozone measurements. These movements occur horizontally across the Earth’s surface, as well as vertically from the surface up, and sometimes stretch over several hundred miles or more.

One of the most noticeable areas of motion is in the vicinity of the jet stream, and the movement of ozone helps identify its location. The jet stream is a river of fast moving air in the upper atmosphere that steers storms around the world. Knowing the exact location of the jet stream would give forecasters a better idea of where storms may move. In the northern hemisphere, it moves from west to east and divides colder air from warmer air.

More case studies are being conducted to fully assess the usefulness of assimilating TOMS ozone data for more accurate weather prediction.

NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise office partially funded this research. The Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve predication of climate, weather, and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space

Rob Gutro | NASA
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>