Wednesday, October 05, 2016

GOES-R Will Revolutionize U.S. Weather Satellites

GOES-R in a clean room prior to being transported to its launch site. (Credit: NOAA Satellites/flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The U.S. fleet of weather satellites is about to get upgraded to high definition.  In 30 days the GOES-R satellite is scheduled to be launched into orbit, giving scientists a clearer view of the weather than ever before.

The new satellite will be launched by NASA and managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor hurricanes and other high-impact types of weather like extreme precipitation.

Having a clearer, more real time view of specific storms has major implications for how people prepare on the ground, particularly in a warming world where certain types of extreme weather are likely to become more common.

“An increase in extreme precipitation events over past few years has been extraordinary,” Stephen Volz, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service, said.  “We need to be able to merge data we get from satellite with radar data to make better estimates for the forecast.”

Hurricane Matthew underscores the importance of having GOES-R in orbit.  In places like Haiti, where on-the-ground weather stations are sparse, the satellite will provide another layer of information for forecasters and decision-makers.

Read more at GOES-R Will Revolutionize U.S. Weather Satellites

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