MTG Sounding A Spot

Sounding service

Providing major benefits for many meteorological applications

MTG Sounding A Spot
MTG Sounding A Spot

The sounding service will deliver spectral information and horizontal and vertical gradients of humidity and temperature.

Last Updated

03 March 2021

Published on

21 May 2020

The new geostationary sounding service is based upon requests from the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) community to frequently deliver spectral information and/or retrieved products. These will also support Nowcasting applications — providing early detection of areas prone to convective initiation, and improved warnings on location and intensity of convective storms.

Infrared spectrum

Simulated MTG infrared sounding data
Figure 1: Enhancing numerical weather prediction with IRS in an Observing System Simulation Experiment (Ref. Guedj et al., 2014 Guedj et al., 2014: An Observing System Simulation Experiment to evaluate the future benefits of MTG-IRS data in a fine-scale weather forecast model. EUMETSAT Fellowship Report, 2014)

Applications benefiting from the infrared sounding mission, achieved through the InfraRed Sounder (IRS) instrument:

  • 30-min repeat cycle over Europe filling large spatial and temporal voids in the 12-hour standard radiosonde observations.
  • Providing time and space interpolation of moisture/temperature observations taken from the polar orbiting satellites.
  • Better depiction of the hydrological cycle in models through information on tropospheric moisture structures and their variation in time.
  • Four-dimensional information on humidity, temperature, and wind (‘4D weather cube’) will support Nowcasting applications — in detecting pre-convective situations and convective initiation, thus giving rise to improved warnings on location and intensity of convective storms.
  • Information on vertically resolved atmospheric motion vectors with improved height assignment is beneficial for the tropical areas.
  • Forecasting pollution and monitoring of atmospheric minor constituents will be helped by estimates of diurnal variations of tropospheric contributions of atmospheric trace gases as O3 and CO.
  • Improved volcanic ash prediction through information on the composition and density of the ash cloud.
  • Potentially significant impact on Numerical Weather Prediction through rapid repeat cycle atmospheric soundings in temperature and humidity-sensitive parts of the infrared spectrum (Figure 1).

Figures 2 and 3 are an example of using the GOES-16 Split Window Difference versus conventional imagery. The animations show the detection of low-level moisture over Kansas, USA, using the Split Window Difference (10.35 µm minus 12.3 µm) of NOAA GOES-16 ABI data (Figure 2 in orange-red colours), a precursor for potentially severe storms, while conventional imagery detects no signal (Figure 3)

Figure 2: GOES-16 Split Window Difference, 15 June 2017. Credit: Dan Lindsey
Figure 3: GOES-16 conventional, 15 June 2017. Credit: Dan Lindsey

Solar spectrum

MTG Services UV Trace Gases
Figure 4: Trace gas detection over Europe with hourly revisit time

Applications benefitting from the Copernicus Sentinel-4 sounding mission on MTG, achieved through the Ultraviolet, Visible and Near-infrared Sounder (UVN) instrument, include:

  • enhanced air quality monitoring on an hourly basis over Europe;
  • estimates of the daily variation of trace gases such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde, and aerosols.

The primary objective of the Sentinel-4 mission is to support air quality monitoring and forecasting over Europe with a revisit time of approximately an hour.

The Sentinel 4 mission (supported by UVN instrument) is one component of the joint Copernicus Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 (UVNS instrument hosted on EPS-SG) concept for air quality applications and climate protocol monitoring (lower troposphere).

The primary data products, derived from the UV-VIS-NIR Sounder (UVN) instrument readings, will be ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde and aerosol optical depth.

Seasonal average NO2 tropospheric column map at horizontal resolution of 2 km
Figure 5: Monitoring air pollution from satellite: Seasonal average NO2 tropospheric column map at horizontal resolution of 2 km; TROPOMI instrument on Sentinel-5P. Credit: ESA/KNMI, Henk Eskes.