Friday, Dec 6, 2013
New Satellite to Improve Weather Forecasting
WSIL-TV - A new Earth observation satellite arrived at a California Air Force Base this week. NASA will launch the satellite in late November. The new equipment is loaded with instruments which will reduce the margin of error in weather forecasting across the nation.
"It provides information all over the globe. So places we don't have any airplanes, stations, or weather balloons to give us information, these satellites help tell us what's going on in the atmosphere," says Purdue University's Dr. Mike Baldwin.
This particular satellite will measure many elements of our planet. The device's suite of five sensors will make measurements to continue producing key data products about Earth. Measurements including cloud cover, vegetation, ice cover, ocean color, and even sea and land surface temperatures will all be included. Scientists will use the data to enhance their understanding of climate change.
"But even here, in the heart of the nation, it's very important for severe weather. Forecasts for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and even flash flooding use satellite data. This data is a critical component to that. That additional information will allow us to see what's happening and get a better idea of what will happen in the minutes and hours ahead," says Rick Shanklin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at National Weather Service in Paducah.
The satellite should be up and running by the end of the year.
Wind: 15 MPH
Humidity: 86 %