A forecasting revolution on its way
MTG-I keeps the promise of a revolution in weather forecasting.
Get to know Jean-Marcel Rivonirina, a winner of the 2022 EUMETSAT Early Career Scientist Award
Because clouds are very dynamic in nature, predicting these conditions is very challenging.
“The aim of our research is to better characterise cloud variability and understand their effects on UV radiation over the Indian Ocean, where very few studies have been carried out to date,” Rivonirina explains.
“In order to do this, we need to gather as much information about the current state of the atmosphere as possible, including characteristics like cloud type and cloud fraction – the percentage of the sky that is covered by clouds at a specific location and time.
“We use two complementary techniques: one using satellite data provided by geostationary satellites such as Meteosat, which has excellent spatial coverage and provides observations every 15 minutes. Another is ground-based cameras in permanent observatories, which have a good resolution but low spatial coverage.”
Combining data from camera and satellite sensors of vastly differing spatial dimensions is a big challenge, requiring the use of specially developed algorithms that can help present data in a way that enables specialists to track the distribution, movement, and properties of clouds.
“Bringing these datasets together not only enhances the amount of data available on cloud cover, it also enables us to corroborate independent observations, improving their accuracy,” Rivonirina adds.
“It’s become a huge passion of mine to work in this area: our research will hopefully improve short- and medium-term weather forecasts over the Indian Ocean, and over time also contribute to studies of climate change.”
Collaboration between countries in Northern Europe enables specialists to get the most out of data delivered by EUMETSAT’s programmes