In September 2017, NOAA and NASA will launch JPSS-1, a next-generation polar-orbiting satellite that will help improve forecasts for flooding, severe storms and hurricanes, among other important weather and climate phenomena.
The JPSS satellites provide detailed information regarding atmospheric and oceanic conditions such as sea surface temperatures, snow cover, water vapor, land and ocean biological productivity in addition to cloud and aerosol properties. In other words, it can monitor environmental hazards like forest fires, dust storms and also visualize light pollution and erosion, etc.
Launching this fall is the 2nd of 5 satellites that will continue to capture the same environmental data and continue with NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in weather, oceans, coasts, arctic land ice and climate through 2038.
How does this play a role in our forecasts? The data captured by satellites is the key input to forecast models. The more detail in the satellite image, the better the forecast models can predict the weather pattern which means higher accuracy 4 to 7 days out!
As Dr. Mitch Goldberg from NOAA said, by having these accurate forecasts out to 7 days, people can respond and prepare to send response teams to areas in need. So everyone can benefit from this!
The JPSS series is made up of polar-orbiting satellites. Dr. Goldberg said the advantage of polar-orbiting satellites is that it's in a lower orbit and travels from the south pole to north pole. The Earth is rotating at the same time so you can observe the whole globe and get a complete picture twice a day!
Dr. Goldberg says, "That (satellite) data is critical for weather forecasting because a weather event that is taking place in Asia will eventually make its way to the U.S."
With the advancement of technology and the partnership between NOAA and NASA, JPSS-1 and future satellites will continue to help weather forecasts and scientists can further their understanding of weather events and the changing climate.