Proceedings PaperUse Of Satellite Imagery In Weather Forecasting Over Western United States
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National Weather Service Forecast Offices in the Western U.S. receive satellite images from the GOES West geostationary satellite every half hour, both day and night. These pictures are used for diagnosing and forecasting weather patterns. They serve to enhance centralized computer guidance and make possible more timely short range forecasts (zero to twelve hours). A variety of image types are received, including infrared and visible images with various enhancements. In recent months water vapor charts have been made available routinely to the forecaster. These charts have proven useful in diagnosing the structure of mid-tropospheric flow patterns over the data sparse eastern Pacific. Several examples of satellite pictures will be shown and their use in weather forecasting demonstrated. Future needs of the field forecaster, such as looping capability, will also be discussed.