Support to Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting

Nowcasting is a weather forecast for the next few hours, based on current information.

SAF Official Service Name

Satellite Application Facility on Support to Nowcasting & Very Short Range Forecasting (NWC SAF)

SAF on support to Nowcasting and Very Short Term Forecasting

SAF Objectives

The main objective of the NWC SAF is to ensure the optimal usage of meteorological satellite data in Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting.

To achieve it, the NWC SAF develops and maintains software packages that are freely distributed to registered users allowing the generation of satellite derived products with a direct application in Nowcasting. The software packages are installed locally at the user's site allowing data processing from operational meteorological satellites flying in geostationary orbits (e.g. Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), Himawari 8, GOES-R series) or polar orbits (e.g. Metop or NOAA).

The NWC SAF provides support to the users through the NWC SAF Helpdesk including support to visualization of products.

SAF Leader and Consortium

Leading Entity
Spanish National Meteorological Service, Spain

Consortium Members
Météo-France, France
Sveriges meteorologiska och hydrologiska institut, Sweden
Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Austria
National Meteorological Administration of Romania National Meteorological Administration of Romania, Romenia

SAF Phases

Development Phase: February 1997–February 2002
Initial Operations Phase: March 2002–February 2007
Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2007–February 2012
Second Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2012–February 2017
Third Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2017–February 2022

SAF input satellite data

Software Package for Geostationary Satellites:

  • Meteosat Second Generation MSG/SEVIRI data (MSG Primary service, Rapid Scanning and Indian Ocean Data Coverage);
  • AHI sensor onboard Himawari (from Himawari 8 onward);
  • ABI sensor onboard GOES-R series;
  • GOES-N series for clouds and winds products;
  • EUMETSAT sensors onboard MTG satellites planned for the next SAF phase (CDOP 4);

Software Package for Polar Satellites:

  • AVHRR onboard Metop and NOAA satellites;
  • VIIRS onboard NOAA-20, S-NPP and follow-on JPSS2,3,4 satellites;
  • MODIS onboard EOS Aqua and Terra;
  • MERSI-2 onboard FY-3 satellites (from FY-3D onward);
  • SLSTR data (nominal view only, Cloud Mask, Type and height only) onboard Sentinel-3 satellites planned for the end of the current SAF phase (CDOP 3);
  • EUMETSAT sensors onboard EPS-SG satellites planned for the next SAF phase (CDOP 4);

SAF products

See the Product Navigator for detailed information on the NWC SAF products.

SAF topology and architecture

Although the NWC SAF provides software packages to users for local installation, each NWC SAF software package is running in reference platforms for test and demonstrational purposes. The outputs of the Reference Systems for MSG in the European Region and for the supported Polar Satellites on various regional areas are available in the NWCSAF website. A link to an archive of MSG NWC SAF products images for the Europan Region is also available.

SAF user community

Primary users of the NWC SAF are institutions in EUMETSAT Member States and Cooperating States with official duties, agencies, universities and research centers.

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