Example of using Sentinel-3 data for meteorology

Example of using Sentinel-3 data for meteorology

18 March 2016 09:50 UTC

Example of using Sentinel-3 data for meteorology
Example of using Sentinel-3 data for meteorology

An early look at data from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument on Sentinel-3.

Last Updated

08 December 2020

Published on

18 March 2016

By Mark Higgins and Roberto Episcopo (EUMETSAT)

The instruments on the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite are undergoing validation. This case takes an early look at data from the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), showing the application for operational meteorology.

Figure 1 illustrates the difference between the Meteosat-10 Natural Colour view and the OLCI True Colour view of the same area of Europe on March 18 at 09:50 UTC.

The two different resolutions are clear to see. The advantage of Meteosat is the geographical and time coverage. Meteosat data are available every 15 minutes, and 5 minutes for the rapid scanning service for a larger area than Sentinel-3. Sentinel-3 coverage is twice per day, up to a 300 m resolution.

Image comparison

Sentinel-3 True Colour image compare1
compare2
 

Figure 1: Comparison of Meteosat-10 and Sentinel-3 images.

Figures 2 and 3 show a broader view of the same area — the Sentinel-3 orbit goes from North to South. Note: The OLCI data shown here are a sample data at a reduced resolution.

There is a region of high pressure over France and Germany, extending south into Italy which leads to clear skies. There is a region of low cloud over the channel extending to northern Poland.

In the Natural Colour image from Meteosat-10, snow and ice can be seen in the cyan colours. This is due to ice/water sensitivity of the 1.6 µm channel used to construct the image. Water clouds appear white.

The differentiation between the snow and ice clouds is not instantly clear on the True Colour image. The thin clouds in Denmark are much easier to see in the Sentinel-3/OLCI image due to the much higher resolution.

 Sentinel-3, 18 March 2016, 09:50 UTC
Figure 2: Sentinel-3 OLCI True colour, 18 March 2016, 09:50 UTC
 
 Met-10, 18 March 2016, 09:50 UTC
Figure 3: Met-10 Natural Colour RGB, 18 March 2016, 09:50 UTC

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