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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-357
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-357
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Dec 2018

Research article | 14 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

The effect of increased resolution of geostationary satellite imageries on predictability of tropical thunderstorms over Southeast Asia

Kwonmin Lee1, Hye-Sil Kim2, and Yong-Sang Choi1 Kwonmin Lee et al.
  • 1Department of Climate and Energy Systems Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

Abstract. Tropical thunderstorms cause heavy damage to property and lives, and there is a strong interest in advancing the predictability of thunderstorms with more precise satellite observations. Using high-resolution (2 km and 10 minutes) imageries from the geostationary satellite (Himawari-8) recently launched over Southeast Asia, we examine how early the thunderstorms can be predicted compared to the low-resolution (4 km and 30 minutes) imageries of the former satellite. We compare the lead times for eight thunderstorms that occurred in August 2017 between high- and low-resolution imageries. These thunderstorms are identified by pixels with a brightness temperature at 10.45 μm (BT11) gradually decreasing by more than 5 K per 10 minutes (15 K per 30 minutes) compared to the previous imagery. The lead time is then calculated as the time passed from the initial to the mature stage of the thunderstorm signal, based on the time series of a minimum BT11 of these pixels. The lead time is found to be 100–180 minutes for the high-resolution imagery, while it is only found to be 30 minutes if detectable at all for the low-resolution imagery. This result suggests that the high-resolution imagery is essential for substantial disaster mitigation because of its ability to note an alarm more than two hours ahead of a matured thunderstorm.

Kwonmin Lee et al.
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Short summary
Thunderstorm prediction using satellites is of vital importance in Southeast Asia. While recent satellites can observe the area more precisely and their applications to pre-disaster management are highly demanded, how far ahead the predictions of thunderstorms can be advanced was questionable. Our results show thunderstorms can be predicted 100–180 minutes ahead of their matured stages using satellite data (2 km, 10 min resolutions). This can capture rapidly-growing clouds before precipitation.
Thunderstorm prediction using satellites is of vital importance in Southeast Asia. While recent...
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