Monthly News Summary – November 2011

Recognition for Support to the Space Shuttle Program

The Advanced Satellite Products Branch (ASPB), CIMSS, and SSEC were all recognized by the Spaceflight Meteorology Group for support over the years to the Space Shuttle Program.

The ASPB recognition was in part due to assistance with remote sensing techniques, such as from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES).

Commendation for the ASPB from the Space Shuttle Program

It was noted that Tim Schmit provided the Space Meteorology Group (SMG) expertise on both GOES and GOES-R. This recognition included a patch that was flown in space aboard the Space Transportation System (STS)-134 mission.

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GOES Images of Major Blowing Dust Event in Texas and New Mexico

The CIMSS Satellite Blog was updated with a post containing a comparison of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-11, GOES-15, and GOES-13 visible and shortwave IR images which showed a very large blowing dust cloud moving rapidly southward across the Texas/New Mexico border region on October 17, 2011.

The blowing dust reduced surface visibilities to near zero in some locations as winds gusted as high as 75 mph.

GOES-11 (left), GOES-15 (center), and GOES-13 (right) visible channel images showing a large dust plume which was moving rapidly southward across the Texas/New Mexico border region on 17 October 2011.

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Steve Ackerman Honored by Wisconsin Academy

Each year at its Annual Fellows Event, the Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts and Letters celebrates the election of new fellows, each of whom are “Wisconsinites with extraordinary levels of accomplishment in their fields as well as a lifelong commitment to intellectual discourse and public service. Fellowship represents the highest level of recognition conferred by the Wisconsin Academy.”

Steven Ackerman, Director of CIMSS, was honored at the 06 November 2011 event for his “extraordinary career as an atmospheric scientist” as well as his commitment of public science education.

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Colleen Mouw Interviewed on Huge Lake Erie Algae Bloom

Colleen Mouw, Assistant Researcher with both SSEC and CIMSS, provided expert commentary for two separate stories posted on NASA’s Earth Observatory site (13 October and 14 October) concerning recent historically large algae blooms on Lake Erie.

The CIMSS Satellite blog was updated with a post showing Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) true color and false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images of the very large algae bloom over the western end of Lake Erie on 09 October 2011.

In addition, an animation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-15) visible channel images appeared to show some movement to the algae bloom features over the lake during the course of the day.

MODIS true color and false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images showing a very large algae bloom in the western part of Lake Erie on 09 October 2011. In the true color image, the algae appears green, in contrast to the cyan appearance of suspended sediment in southern parts of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

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Larry Sromovsky Discusses Uranus on Skymania and the Huffington Post

Larry Sromovsky, SSEC, was interviewed by Skymania concerning a bright region on Uranus appearing to be ten times brighter than the planetary background. The image was recorded using the 8.1-metre Gemini Telescope North on Hawaii.

The story was then picked up by the Huffington Post.

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Kind Words From a Satisfied User of the GAMIS Buoy

In an email Keith Meverden, State Historical Society of Wisconsin Underwater Archaeologist, praised the UW Mendota Buoy:

“I just wanted to say thank you for providing the online data for the Lake Mendota GAMIS buoy. This past summer I found myself checking its data – and using that data for boating decisions – far more than I anticipated. I am also glad to see that it has not yet been pulled for the season.”

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Amato Evan and James Kossin Co-Author Paper Published in Nature

A paper establishing a link between air pollution and cyclone intensity in the Arabian Sea, co-authored by Amato Evan (formerly of CIMSS), James Kossin (NOAA – Duty Station CIMSS), Chul “Eddy” Chung, and V. Ramanathan, was published by Nature on 02 November 2011.

The article was also featured on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography site.

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CIMSS Participates in NPP Educator’s Launch Conference

CIMSS participated in the NPP Educator’s Launch Conference, in conjunction with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.

With around 100 teachers from across the country at the workshop, Patrick Rowley led workshop sessions showcasing CIMSS Online Satellite Applications, including Satellite Applications in Geoscience Education (SAGE), Satellite Meteorology for Grades 7-12, and Satellite Observations in Science Education (SOSE).

Teachers at NASA’s Mission Director Center for NPP Launch.

submitted by CIMSS Outreach

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Schmit Receives T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award from the NWA

Tim Schmit received the T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award at the 2011 National Weather Association (NWA) annual meeting on 19 October 2011 in Birmingham, Alabama. The citation read “for excellence in promoting and extending the use of satellite data within the operational community currently and in the future.”

This award is the association’s highest honor for a member whose research has significantly contributed to the field of operational meteorology.

Tim Schmit with the T. Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award from the NWA.

In addition, on 12 October 2011, Schmit participated via a telecom in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-15 Operational Readiness Review (ORR) held at NOAA Satellite Operations Facility.

This review demonstrated readiness to transition GOES-15 spacecraft and instruments into GOES-West Operations and readiness of GOES-15 products and users. Several quantitative products need GOES-15 specific coefficient files to be supplied by STAR.

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Steve Goodman and Greg Mandt Visit CIMSS/ASPB

CIMSS and the NESDIS/Advanced Satellite Products Branch (ASPB) hosted a visit by Greg Mandt and Steve Goodman, GOES-R System Program Director and Senior Program Scientist, on Thursday, 13 October 2011.

Greg and Steve met with CIMSS/ASPB GOES-R teams (Cryosphere, Soundings, Imagery, Wind, Clouds, Aviation, Air Quality, Proxy, AIT-Midwest, and GRAFFIR) to discuss current and planned activities. They also met with CIMSS/ASPB scientists to discuss data assimilation activities on the new NESDIS Super Computer for Satellite Simulation and Data Assimilation Studies (S4), which is hosted and managed by SSEC.

Greg Mandt and Steve Goodman with the NESDIS Super Computer for Satellite Simulation and Data Assimilation Studies (S4) at SSEC.

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Lindstrom Leads CIMSS VISIT Session

The Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) session “Trough of Warm Air Aloft (TROWAL) Identification” was led by Scott Lindstrom on 27 October 2011.

Staff from the National Weather Service forecast offices at Wichita, Kansas and Riverton, Wyoming participated in the VISIT lesson. In addition, the CIMSS Satellite Blog was updated with posts discussing Hurricane Rina, and widespread snow cover across Colorado following a major early season winter storm.

AWIPS image comparison of MODIS visible channel data with the corresponding MODIS false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image centered over Colorado on October 27, 2011. In the false color RGB image, snow cover appears as shades of red, while cloud features appears as shades of white.

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Solar Panel Update

The MG&E solar panel installed on the roof of AOSS this past June produced 167 kWh electricity in August, offsetting 255 lbs CO2.

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