Effects of high-resolution geostationary satellite imagery on the predictability of tropical thunderstorms over Southeast Asia

Lee, Kwonmin; Kim, Hye-Sil; Choi, Yong-Sang

Tropical thunderstorms cause significant damage to property and lives, and a strong research interest exists in the advances and improvement of thunderstorm predictability by satellite observations. Using high-resolution (2 km and 10 min) imagery from the geostationary satellite, Himawari-8, recently launched over Southeast Asia, we examined the earliest possible time for the prediction of thunderstorms as compared to the potential of low-resolution (4 km and 30 min) imagery of the former satellite. We compared the lead times of high- and low-resolution imageries of 60 tropical thunderstorms that occurred in August 2017. These thunderstorms were identified by the decreasing trend in the 10.45 µm brightness temperature (BT11) by over 5 K per 10 min for the high-resolution imagery and 15 K per 30 min for the low-resolution imagery. The lead time was then calculated over the time from the initial state to the mature state of the thunderstorm, based on the time series of a minimum BT11 of thunderstorm pixels. The lead time was found to be 90–180 min for the high-resolution imagery, whereas it was only 60 min (if detectable) for the low-resolution imagery. These results indicate that high-resolution imagery is essential for substantial disaster mitigation owing to its ability to raise an alarm more than 2 h ahead of the mature state of a tropical thunderstorm.

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Lee, Kwonmin / Kim, Hye-Sil / Choi, Yong-Sang: Effects of high-resolution geostationary satellite imagery on the predictability of tropical thunderstorms over Southeast Asia. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Kwonmin Lee et al.

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