MTG user expectations
In this series of interviews, users from National Met Services talk about how the new generation of data will benefit their applications.
04, December 2020
Member States are expecting improved nowcasting of severe weather events, a step change in air quality monitoring, an enhancement to numerical weather prediction and an extension of climate data records.
Dr Simon Keogh, Met Office, UK
What benefits does the Met Office expect from the MTG and EPS-SG?
The MTG mission has massive potential to improve our weather and climate services. Here at the Met Office we intend to leverage MTG data to improve our situational awareness, to enhance our numerical weather prediction capability, and to extend our ability to monitor changes to our environment.
The situational awareness in the Met Office’s Operations Centre will be improved by the new Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) instrument on MTG. The increased spatial and temporal resolution will better enable us to provide warnings of convective hazards (e.g. small-scale, intense thunderstorms) and hazards such as fog, which can have a major impact on airport operations.
Our Numerical Weather Prediction capability will be improved, and made more resilient, by the addition of EPS-SG instruments, for example the new scatterometer will have better ability to capture high wind speeds and better detection of ocean surface winds closer to the coastline, which will lead to improved forecasting of maritime winds and waves for shipping.
The Met Office is very keen to extend into the future our ability to monitor changes to our environment. In particular, we hope to sustain our OSTIA sea surface temperature and ice analysis by leveraging future OSI SAF products that will be based on MTG-FCI and EPS-SG MetImage.
How are you preparing for the new systems?
In order to ensure timely readiness, a number of activities are already ongoing. For MTG, these include refreshing the satellite imagery processing hardware, this will take about six months. Embedding the EUMETCast Terrestrial in the reception capability will take at least a year, if not more. The same applies for the exploration of MTG test data.
As far as EPS-SG is concerned, the capability to directly receive data from the polar orbiters needs upgrading, an endeavour that is scheduled to take over two years. Finally, data assimilation experiments are planned, that will help us to exploit EUMETSAT’s next generation satellite data in our numerical weather prediction models.
Croatian Met Service
What benefits does the Croatian Met Service expect from MTG?
Higher spatial, as well as temporal, resolution is highly anticipated by our forecasters, especially for Nowcasting and monitoring convective cells development and movement. Also for fog detection, especially in the plateaus of our mountainous regions, Lika and Gorski kotar, where important roads, such as the A1 highway, connect the Adriatic with inland Croatia.
We can't wait to see the benefits of MTG, in particular MTG-S with the Infrared Sounder (IRS), on global, as well as local, Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP).
In the complex terrain of the Dinaric Alps we feel that several overpasses of polar orbiters are, sometimes, just not enough to capture the processes and modulation from the ground, We run the models several times per day (ALADIN four times), so will be happy to witness the added value of geostationary satellite data (better timeliness and better resolution). We expect improvements of Nowcasting tools/models we use, such as the INCA model.
The Lightning Imager (LI) will complement our existing lightning systems (LINET and Met Office). Our experts in convection are eager to work with the data and to explore the new possibilities.
Fires are increasingly important topic for Croatia, as the Mediterranean area is becoming increasingly susceptible to forest and bush fires, which can be demonstrated by fire severity rating index for fire seasons from 1858 until 2018 for the island of Hvar. Opportunities to explore early detection algorithms utilising the 'new' 3.8 micrometer channel are exciting. Previous analysis revealed limited possibilities with the current system (MSG) — one of the reasons was the rather low spatial resolution. This will change with the next generation imager.
Besides fire detection, other land applications are expected to benefit from new channels and better resolution, so we hope to be able to provide more support to users in agriculture.
How are you preparing for the new system?
Our staff is participating in preparation programs and workshops (e.g. the MTG preparation Workshop) or MTGUP! This ensures that we are increasing awareness of the MTG program within the Service.
Our IT department is working out the specifications for EUMETCast system modifications, as well as on the upgrades of the other systems. These efforts are coordinated with our finance department.
We also plan to include operational staff in any training events that will be organised in the next years, to help them efficiently use all the new data and products.
MTG is a huge undertaking! Not only in terms of satellite planning and manufacturing, but also in terms of impact it will have on the forecasting in general and we are doing our best, within the scope of our possibilities, to prepare the experts and infrastructure for the upcoming satellites.