The Morphological Composite Product of Cloud Properties for Alaska

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Anthony J Wimmers, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States and Andrew K Heidinger, NOAA/NESDIS, Madison, WI, United States
Here we will present a new technique of satellite image compositing, supported by NOAA for producing and visualizing cloud products in the Alaska region. This technique, dubbed morphological compositing, is applied to a set of polar and geostationary satellite cloud products (CLAVR-x and GSIP) to create natural, real-time, high temporal resolution animations at the high latitudes.

Other existing approaches for compositing satellite imagery from multiple sources produce imagery that, first and foremost, present the latest observations where available. The normal consequence of these approaches is a set of images with suboptimal temporal continuity (where continuity means natural motion, consistent resolution and correct location at the image time). Until recently this was understood to be inevitable at the high latitudes. However, the high sampling rate of cloud characteristics poleward of 70 degrees latitude (from four NOAA AVHRR sensors and two Metop AVHRR sensors) provides enough information for a more advanced compositing approach.

The technique presented here uses an “optical flow” algorithm to estimate the object motion of clouds in between polar satellite observations and produce accurate, full-resolution imagery at 30-minute resolution. The resulting product can be interpreted just like geostationary imagery, and is in fact seamlessly combined with GOES-West cloud products in the final compositing stage. In addition, we will discuss the operational plans for the product starting in early 2015, as well as the possibilities for other related applications.