Flooding continues to exact a significant economic and humanitarian toll worldwide. Rainfall estimates from satellite
data represent an important source of information for monitoring and predicting these events, particularly in regions
where radar data are unavailable and the rain gauge network is unsuitable for smaller-scale applications. This paper will
present several real-time satellite-based rainfall estimation and forecasting techniques that are in use at NOAA/NESDIS
that take advantage of the global coverage offered by both the geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite constellations.
One is the Hydro-Estimator rainfall algorithm, which produces 4- to 5-km resolution estimates of rainfall at sub-hourly
time scales from geostationary infrared data. Another is the Tropical Rainfall Potential (TRaP) algorithm, which
produces 24-hour forecasts of rainfall from landfalling tropical cyclones based on extrapolation of current microwaveestimated
rain rates along the predicted storm track. Examples of these and other techniques will be presented, along
with future advances that are anticipated as new instruments become available on upcoming satellite missions.
India and the United States of America (U.S.A.) held a joint conference from June 21-25, 2004 in
Bangalore, India to strengthen and expand cooperation in the area of space science, applications, and
commerce. Following the recommendations in the joint vision statement released at the end of the
conference, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Indian Space and
Reconnaissance Organization (ISRO) initiated several joint science projects in the area of satellite product
development and applications. This is an extraordinary step since it concentrates on improvements in the
data and scientific exchange between India and the United States, consistent with a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) signed by the two nations in 1997. With the relationship between both countries
strengthening with President Bush's visit in early 2006 and new program announcements between the two
countries, there is a renewed commitment at ISRO and other Indian agencies and at NOAA in the U.S. to
fulfill the agreements reached on the joint science projects. The collaboration is underway with several
science projects that started in 2005 providing initial results.
NOAA and ISRO agreed that the projects must promote scientific understanding of the satellite
data and lead to a satellite-based decision support systems for disaster and public health warnings. The
projects target the following areas:
--supporting a drought monitoring system for India
--improving precipitation estimates over India from Kalpana-1
--increasing aerosol optical depth measurements and products over India
--developing early indicators of malaria and other vector borne diseases via satellite monitoring of
environmental conditions and linking them to predictive models
--monitoring sea surface temperature (SST) from INSAT-3D to support improved forecasting of
regional storms, monsoon onset and cyclones.
The research collaborations and results from these projects will be presented and discussed in the
context of India-US cooperation and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) concept.
For over two decades, meteorologists at the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) have provided manual satellite precipitation estimates as guidance for National Weather Service (NWS) field forecasters during heavy rain and flash flood situations. Scientists at the NESDIS Office of Research and Applications (ORA) have developed a number of tools to automate and streamline the processes of both estimating current precipitation and nowcasting near-term precipitation from satellite data. These tools are discussed and illustrated in this paper.
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
Agriculture and Hydrology Applications of Remote Sensing