Satellite data to help weather forecasters to detect snowfall rates

On 28 January 2014, data through satellite had predicted snowfall accumulating over Birmingham, Ala, however weather forecasters thought of something else. They predicted that it would be nothing more than a light dusting for the delay. But the day actually turned very disappointing for the weather forecasters. This is mainly because of the fact that for the subsequent hours, the snowfall continued to lead to a disruption of the entire area. The area was filled with a couple of inches of snow but that was quite enough to disrupt this city from its usual activities. Everyday commuters left their vehicles on the roads and spent the night in different offices and shopping malls and other places which they could access. Even children spent the night in their schools or daycare centers due to the fact that their parents were not in a position to come and pick them up.

All the rainfall rates that you get from the satellite data are much more reliable because such data received are in link with the weather radar as well as rain gauges. The estimates for rainfall that satellites provide are even applicable in such areas or zones where the ground measurements are missing. Such area involves mountain regions. However, in the present scenario, it has been quite difficult to gauge the amount of snowfall. This is only because there have been quite a lot of challenges in the process of data generation.

Recently a multiagency team comprising of scientists have invented a process of operational data product which takes into account the satellite data for the purpose of calculating snowfall rates over the land which is considered to be a water equivalent intensity which shows a satellite footprint diameter which spans over a length of 15 kilometers on the surface.

In earlier cases, data from the satellite was used to be downloaded in the form of batches subsequent to the completion of each and every full orbit. The time gap between the data delivery and that of the observation was of 2 hours. In order to avoid this situation, a new product has been put in place which involves direct broadcasting activities from different satellites in low Earth orbit. These satellites have the job to send SFR measurements to the ground-based signals within a timeframe of 20 to 30 minutes of the satellite observations.