Satellite Convection AnalySis & Tracking (SATCAST)

Docket: UAH-P-09004


Cumulus clouds form every day, but only about 1% of those develop into storms. Conventional methods have yet to precisely predict which clouds will turn into actual storms and predict warnings of possible lightning.

Researchers at UAH have developed the Satellite Convection AnalySis & Tracking (SATCAST) system, which uses data from NOSS's GOES East weather satellite to monitor cumulus clouds as they develop, move, and grow before they become thunderstorms. By monitoring the size, depth, and longevity of a new storm's main draft, the system predicts the probability of rain and lightning before they occur.

Unlike conventional forecasting tools, SATCAST works with other forecast technologies to give 15 minute to 2 hour warnings before a convective thunderstorm develops. During a recent test round at NWS offices in Florida, the system was accurate in its storm forecast between 65% and 75% of the time.


  • Weather forecasting
  • Air traffic control
  • Cloud monitoring


  • Accuracy and precision
  • Inexpensive to install and operate
  • Utilizes existing satellite sensors


  • State of Development: Prototype
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patented