NASA On Air: NASA Tracks Overshooting Tops Of Thunderstorms (5/5/2016)
LEAD: NASA Scientists and engineers at Langley Research center have developed quick methods of detecting severe thunderstorms from satellite measurements.
1. These storms often have a signature cauliflower shape- the overshooting top- that indicates powerful updrafts associated with generating hazardous weather such as damaging winds, hail, or tornadoes.
2. This example shows NASA forecast computer quickly detecting the 'overshooting tops' by measuring reflected sunlight and cloud top temperatures. This information will be especially useful for aircraft pilots over oceans and forecasters in developing countries where there are no Doppler radar systems.
TAG: The new weather satellite, GOES-R, to be launched by NASA, in October 2016 will help forecasters utilized this method to deliver more accurate severe weather forecasts. This method was designed for GOES-R but it can operate on any satellite measurement across the globe.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center