Putting the final pieces together: Seamless global real-time imagery of total precipitable water vapor from polar-orbiting microwave satellites
Anthony Wimmers, University of Wisconsin - Madison,  SSEC/CIMSS, Madison, WI
Chris Velden, University of Wisconsin - Madison,  SSEC/CIMSS


For several years our group has shared a data-blending product of total precipitable water (TPW) over ocean water for marine weather forecasting. Here we present the results of an innovation that creates full-globe (over water, land and ice), real time, merged TPW from five polar-orbiting satellites. This enables a new visualization of land/sea interactions involving extreme highs and lows of moisture reaching coastal as well as inland populations.

Our algorithm uses intensive image-morphing computations to create natural, fluid and highly accurate hourly global imagery. The average error of the method is only 1-2 mm, which is imperceptible across most of the image.

The derived product (“MIMIC-TPW2”) has been quickly adopted by many in the United States as a critical forecasting tool for real-time situational awareness of atmospheric rivers leading to flooding, diagnosing the synoptic environment of hurricanes, and tracking the dry Saharan Air Layer in the North Atlantic Ocean. The presentation will introduce the online resources of this product and walk the audience through several examples to demonstrate the advantages of incorporating this tool in forecasting.