TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0008.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Thunderstorms; Cumulonimbus; Convection; Nowcasting; Lightning
Online: 1 June 2022 (08:25:05 CEST)
Thunderstorms are among the most common and most dangerous meteorological hazards in the world. They cause lightning and can lead to strong wind gusts, squall lines, hail and heavy precipitation combined with flooding, and therefore pose a threat to health and life, can cause enormous property damage and also endanger flight savety. Monitoring and forecast of thunderstorms are therefore important topics. In this work a novel method for the detection and forecast of thunderstorms and strong convection is presented. The detection is based on the global GLD360 lightning data in combination with satellite information from the satellite series Meteosat, HIMAWAARI and GOES, covering the complete geostationary ring. Three severity levels are defined depending on the occurrence of lightning and the brightness temperature difference of the water vapour channels and the infrared window channel (∼ 10.8 μm). The detection of thunderstorms and strong convection is the basis for the nowcasting up to 2 hours, which is performed with the optical flow method TV-L1. This method provides the needed atmospheric motion vectors for the extrapolation of the thunderstorm movement. Both, the validation results as well as the feedback of the customers show the great value of the new NowCastSat-Aviation (NCS-A) method. For example, the Critical Success Index (CSI) is with 0.64 still quite high for the 60 minute forecast of severe thunderstorms. The method is operated 24/7 by the German Weather Service (DWD) and used to provide thunderstorm information to aviation customers and the central weather forecast unit of DWD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0422.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: tephra; ground-based weather radar; Bayesian approach; nowcasting; ensemble prediction system
Online: 23 November 2021 (13:00:31 CET)
Tephra plumes can cause a significant hazard for surrounding towns, infrastructure, and air traffic. The current work presents the use of a small and compact X-band Multi-Parameter (X-MP) radar for the remote tephra detection and tracking of two eruptive events at Merapi Volcano, Indonesia, in May and June 2018. Tephra detection was done by analysing the multiple parameters of radar: copolar correlation and reflectivity intensity. These parameters were used to cancel unwanted clutter and retrieve tephra properties, which are grain size and concentration. Real-time spatial and temporal forecasting of tephra dispersal was performed by applying an advection scheme (nowcasting) in the manner of Ensemble Prediction System (EPS). Cross-validation was done using field-survey data, radar observations, and Himawari-8 imagery. The nowcasting model computed both the displacement and growth and decaying rate of the plume based on the temporal changes in two-dimensional movement and tephra concentration, respectively. Our results with ground-based data, where the radar-based estimated grain size distribution fell within the range of in-situ data. The uncertainty of real-time forecasted tephra plume depends on the initial condition, which affects the growth-and decaying rate estimation. The EPS improves the predictability rate by reducing the number of missed and false forecasted events. Our findings and the method presented here are suitable for early warning of tephra fall hazard at the local scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0238.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: neural networks; satellite images; class imbalance; feature attribution; lightning prediction; nowcasting; short-term forecasts; machine learning; meteorology
Online: 16 June 2022 (10:48:59 CEST)
While thunderstorms can pose severe risks to property and life, forecasting remains challenging, even at short lead times, as these often arise in meta-stable atmospheric conditions. In this paper, we examine the question of how well we could perform short-term (up to 180min) forecasts using exclusively multi-spectral satellite images and past lighting events as data. We employ representation learning based on deep convolutional neural networks in an “end-to-end” fashion. Here, a crucial problem is handling the imbalance of the positive and negative classes appropriately in order to be able to obtain predictive results (which is not addressed by many previous machine-learning-based approaches). The resulting network outperforms previous methods based on physically-based features and optical flow methods (similar to operational prediction models) and generalizes across different years. A closer examination of the classifier performance over time and under masking of input data indicates that the learned model actually draws most information from structures in the visible spectrum, with infrared imaging sustaining some classification performance during the night.