Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hail And Heavy Shower - Satellite Diagnosis


In the morning, a TV presenter assured the audience that the forecast definitely promised no rain. And in the afternoon, all credulous persons who had left umbrellas at home were caught by a heavy shower. Weather forecasting is a difficult and thankless task. Factors are multiple, it is practically impossible to take them all into account, therefore the forecast may be only probabilistic. However, people tend not to notice accurate forecasts, but discuss mistakes for a long time.

Nevertheless, now accuracy of forecasts, at least – that of heavy showers and hail forecasts – may be significantly increased. The hope for that is provided by research by Moscow scientists – specialists of the hydrometeorological scientific research center of Russia and their colleagues from the PLANETA Scientific Research Center for Space Hydrometeorology. The method they suggest would not require new experimental data; the data currently available is sufficient, but it will be possible now to draw out much more information from it.

The researchers recounted their development at the Second Open All-Russian Conference “Up-to-date problems of remote probing of the Earth from space”.

The heavy shower and hail forecasts are based on the data about the Earth’s outgoing thermal radiation. By measuring it from the NOAA-16 polar orbiting satellite with the help of two radiometers in microwaves and infrared spectral band, the authors learned to calculate nebulosity parameters which determine the heavy shower and hail formation process. Based on these parameters, in turn, the researchers managed to calculate values of precipitation intensity and the diameter of hailstones.

Fundamental parameters are two atmospheric temperatures: at the level of the nebulosity upper bound and at the surface directly under the cloud. These two temperatures are determined with the help of radiometers located on the satellite. This data allows to determine the altitude of nebulosity upper bound, maximum speed of vertical upstreams and to evaluate the value of maximum precipitation intensity at the surface in the nebulosity area. Simply speaking, this allows to recon whether the cloud under consideration is fraught with a heavy shower or light rain, as well as the probability if it will spill with rain at all.

To estimate if the cloud would fall down with hail and the size of hailstones, the researchers invented a technique, which is based on the same input data. By the way, this technique has been already tested and it is successfully used by the specialists of the antihail service in Argentina.
In general, possessing a relatively small data reserve, meteorologists are able now to identify a shower cloud or a cloud fraught with hail (it is called hail-bearing) with about 80 percent probability. They can draw respective maps. The most important things to have are a good algorithm, software and a high-speed computer. However, meteorologists like to use computers.

It is not without reason that one of the most powerful in the world supercomputers, located in Japan and computing the climate on the Earth, is a huge object, its square twice exceeding a football ground. But such supermachines are not required to solve the tasks of recognizing hail and shower by thermal radiation of the Earth. Machines available now are sufficient.

An agreeable advantage of the new approach is that it is multipurpose. Not only does it allow to diagnose heavy shower-rains and hail but it also gives an opportunity to assess intensity of these precipitations. This can be assessed above any type of surface, even above snow or ice.

Specialists know that this particularly difficult to do. The public will be glad that weather forecasts may become much more accurate. They would not carry umbrellas in vain, or caught by showers without an umbrella either.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine

nachricht Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>