0-2 Hour Storm Intensity Nowcasting Using Satellite Remote Sensing

UAH-P-14011-0-2 Hour Storm Intensity Nowcasting Using Satellite Remote Sensing

Docket: UAH-P-14011


Many existing short-term weather forecasting systems do not currently use Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) observations. However, GOES data allows much earlier detection of convective storms and storm severity than can be obtained from radar. The use of numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecasts suffers as storms are often predicted to be in an incorrect location at an incorrect time.

Researchers at UAH have developed a method that integrates new GOES-R channels and 1-5 minute GOES/Meteosat rapid scan capabilities into an integrated operational nowcast prediction model. This can then be used to forecast convective initiation, storm intensity, and severe storm phenomena (large hail and tornadoes). This algorithm relies on the rapid scan-based tracking of early cloud evolution as well as their vigor and precipitation-forming processes that are obtained from retrieved cloud microstructure and observed lightning characteristics.

By utilizing GOES data in addition to radar, this innovation significantly enhances the ability to forecast both storm intensity and when a storm will become severe.


  • Aviation weather forecasting
  • Short-term weather prediction
  • Numerical weather prediction of convective storm development, timing, and location
  • Early detection of severe storms
  • Cell phone weather forecast applications


  • Incorporates GOES data, allowing earlier detection than can be obtained using radar alone


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Not available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patent Pending