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ECMWF launches new simulated satellite data product

ECMWF has launched a new dataset called Simulated Satellite Data (SSD), which provides global high-resolution forecasts of the weather as seen from space.

Simulated satellite images generated from the SSD provide a unique view of global cloud cover and moisture features up to ten days into the future.

The new product is based on ECMWF’s global forecasts at the record-breaking resolution introduced by the model upgrade announced on 10 March 2016.

“These images provide an exciting and unique view of the atmosphere predicted by our new high-resolution model – as it would be seen from space,” ECMWF scientist Cristina Lupu said.

“Forecasters will be able to apply their expertise in inferring current weather from observed satellite images to understand future weather from the forecast images,” she added.

“We believe these products will play a crucial role in visualising forecasts of high-impact extreme weather events.”

The data is produced using relevant atmospheric model profiles and surface parameters from the operational high-resolution forecast. These are used to calculate brightness temperatures, which can be visualised as simulated satellite images.

Detailed comparison between simulated and actual, observed satellite images can alert modellers to deficiencies to focus on for future model development.

The data provides a nadir (top-down) view for every model grid point, whereas previous simulated images reproduced the equator-centred view from geostationary satellites.

The dataset is available in three-hourly steps up to day seven and in six-hourly steps up to day ten. It can be used to produce animations showing changes in the atmosphere over time

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