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Using satellite data to identify and track convection over Southern Africa
Expanded Title:Nowcasting is the science of anticipating the ordinary and severe weather events in the next few hours. Severe weather events can include heavy rainfall, strong wind, hail and/or tornadoes. Various sectors of society need to be able to prepare for these events when they occur and the issuing of weather-related warnings for such events in South Africa is the mandate of the South African Weather Service (SAWS). In an ideal world, radar systems provide the most useful information about the intensity, movement and characteristics of severe weather events, but these data sources are expensive to obtain and require extensive maintenance. Even in South Africa, radar systems do not provide coverage of the entire country and this leaves gaps between radars. In other southern African countries, very few operational radar systems exist. Despite the shortcomings in data resources, all meteorological centres still have to warn the public of pending severe weather events. The geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite provides data coverage over all African countries and the operational use of satellite data as a possible solution for nowcasting of severe weather events in data-sparse regions is increasingly being considered by satellite users. In order to optimise the use of satellite data, different centres were established in the European region to develop derived products for different purposes, including nowcasting. The Nowcasting Satellite Application Facility (NWC SAF) developed various tools, which can be very useful for the nowcasting of severe weather events. One of the products, developed within the NWC SAF framework by Meteo-France, is called the “Rapid Development Thunderstorms” (RDT) product. The aim of this product is to use data from satellite and a numerical weather prediction model to identify and track the more intense parts of thunderstorms. The software to generate this product can be downloaded from the NWC SAF website by any user. The aim of this Water Research Commission (WRC) funded project was to implement and test the RDT product over the South African as well as southern African domain to show the possible benefit of this product in data-sparse regions
Date Published:01/09/2015
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:R & D - Information technology
Document Keywords:Climate, Technology
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2235/1/15
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0702-2
Authors:de Coning E; Van Hemert L; Gijben M; Pringle C; Maseko B
Project No:K5/2235
Organizations:South African Weather Service
Document Size:3 876 KB
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