Exploring the new capabilities of hyperspectral sounders

The EUMETSAT MTG will open a new universe in routine satellite data. But already now we can test how the future capabilities can be exploited for severe storms forecasting and nowcasting.

One of the most promising new data streams will be hyperspectral sounder data translated into vertical temperature and moisture profiles. At the ESSL Testbed we are one of the first users of such data.

First examples show that in a number of cases the substantial increase of vertical temperature and moisture information can strongly support detection of areas where instability and/or moisture are more or less favourable for severe convection, compared to pure model data. On the other hand in single cases the provided temperature and moisture profiles also showed significant departures from measured surface data, resulting in misleading information.

Feedback from the ESSL Testbed can for example help to optimize training datasets (important for the translation from the raw sounder data into vertical profiles), especially in situations relevant for severe convective storms.

Screenshot example for east domain of ESSL Testbed data display with field MLCAPE100hPa for 16 July 2019 at 9 UTC: ECMWF IFS field in colour shading (background), EUMETSAT hyperspectral sounder data in dotted colours (foreground). Note differences for example over south-central Ukraine and over Black Sea.

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