NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations

Sounding Products

    Operational Products
ATOVS Sounding The Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (ATOVS) data processing system provides near real-time atmospheric temperatures at 42 levels (from surface to 0.1 mb) and water vapor mixing ratios at 19 levels (from surface to 200 mb) with a 40 km horizontal resolution derived from the AMSU-A and HIRS measurements on board the NOAA polar orbiting and European Metop satellites series. The primary functions of the system are to quality check the instrument data, convert it to radiances (or brightness temperatures), limb correct, cloud clear for the ATOVS, determine a first guess profile and compute the retrieval. Cloud detection is done using AVHRR channels 3b, 4, and 5. In addition to the temperature and moisture profiles, ATOVS products suite includes the AMSU-A brightness temperatures, HIRS channels radiances, layer temperatures and layer thicknesses (15 layers with 40 km resolution), geopotential heights, tropopause pressure, tropopause temperature, total ozone, cloud amount, cloud top temperature, cloud top pressure, layer precipitable water, cloud liquid water and total precipitable water in binary and BUFR format.

Product Links:  Atmospheric Temperature;  Vertical Statistics

Sample Atmospheric Temperature Image

POES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
GOES Sounder Gridded Cloud Products The GOES Gridded Cloud Product (GGCP) creates a GRIB file showing the effective cloud amount, cloud top temperature, cloud top pressure, cloud height, and the skin temperature. GGCP combines GOES East and West SFOV sounding outputs (McIDAS Area files) to generate global gridded products and converts them into GRIB files.

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Sample GGCP Sounding Image

GOES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
IASI Sounding The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) onboard the European Metop satellite, was launched in October 2006. IASI produces temperature and humidity profiles with vertical accuracies of 1 degree Kelvin and 10 % per 1-km layer respectively. The first priority of the IASI processing system is to generate radiance products from data ingested in a pipeline mode from EUMETSAT. These radiances undergo sub-setting, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) reconstruction, and global gridding. Subsequently these radiance products are distributed to users as BUFR, NetCDF and BINARY files. All levels of data products are made available at the user specified locations, as subset files, and as gridded subsets.

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Sample IASI Sounding Image

POES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
MIRS Sounding The operational Microwave Integrated Retrieval System (MIRS) is an upgrade to the NESDIS operational microwave retrieval system known as MSPPS (Microwave Surface and Precipitation Products System) with the extended capability of providing atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles in all-weather conditions and over all-surface types. MIRS is based on an assimilation-type scheme (1DVAR) and capable of optimally retrieving atmospheric and surface state parameters simultaneously. More details could be found under the MIRS Algorithm section. The operational MIRS sounding products extend the current operational sounding capability to cloudy and precipitating regions. They are available from NOAA-18 and MetOp in HDF-EOS format, and have been archived since Aug 30, 2007, and can be acquired from CLASS. The MIRS soundings from SSMIS are also available as the experimental products for users who like to test and evaluate the quality. More details on the operational MIRS products, please refers to the operational MIRS web page.

Product Links:  Moisture Profiles;  Temperature Profiles
More information on MIRS Products

Sample Vertical Moisture Profile Image

POES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
Skew-T Profiles The GOES Temperature and Moisture Soundings Profiles are displayed in Skew-T Log-P diagram format. These diagrams include both the GOES and the first guess (model data). Also included are several derived parameters to the right of each diagram. The GOES thermal gradient winds (derived from the Soundings) are also displayed on the diagrams. A Sounding may not always be available for a given site, if cloud cover exists. Site selection for the profiles has been split up into three regions in the links below: Atlantic and Eastern U.S., Continental U.S. (Mexico and S Canada included), and Pacific and Western U.S.

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Skew-T Image for Atlanta, GA 01Jun2008

GOES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
Skew-T Profiles The POES Temperature and Moisture Soundings Profiles are displayed in Skew-T Log-P diagram format. These diagrams include both the POES and the first guess (model data). Also included are several derived parameters to the right of each diagram. Profiles included in the diagram are POES derived Temperature, Guess Temperature, POES Dew point , Guess Dew point, and POES Parcel with positive and negative areas. The POES thermal gradient winds (derived from the Soundings) are also displayed on the diagrams. The background image is generated from the AVHRR composite on the same platform as the ATOVS. The global map has been split up into several regions and regions are divided into 1 degree X 1 degree grid for the profiles. You may be able to select a region of interesting from the global map.

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Skew-T Image for Atlanta, GA 01Jun2008

POES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
Sounder DPI Derived Product Imagery (DPI) of Lifted Index products are generated hourly with coverage extending over the CONUS and adjacent ocean areas. Lifted Index is calculated by lifting (frontal, orographic, upper air dynamics, etc.) a parcel of air dry adiabatically while conserving moisture until it reaches saturation. At that point the parcel is lifted moist adiabatically up to 500 mb. The Lifted Index is the ambient air temperature minus the lifted parcel temperature at 500 mb. If the parcel is warmer than the environment (negative L.I.), it has positive buoyancy, and will tend to continue to rise, favoring convection. L.I. values less than -5C indicate very unstable conditions. A positive L.I. value indicates negative parcel buoyancy, and the parcel will tend to sink. This is representative of stable conditions where convection is unlikely.

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Sample Sounder Lifted Index Image

GOES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Varies
Satellite Cloud Product (SCP) The GOES Satellite Cloud Product (SCP) is a text product that compliments the National Weather Services (NWS) Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS). These text products, sometimes referred to as ASOS SCP, detect the cloud cover conditions over the ASOS stations, and list them by state. The product detects the cloud cover conditions at the middle (631-400 MB) and high (above 400 MB) layers of the atmosphere. The cloud cover product is categorized as OVC (overcast), BRK (broken), SCT (scattered), and CLR (clear). The CLD TOP (cloud top) is the height of the clouds in thousands of feet (base - top). The ECA (effective cloud amount) is the last column which represents the percentage of cloud detected at that pressure level. The product is broken down into several regions Central US (CR), Eastern US (ER), Southern US (SR), and Western US (WR). The symbol SCP@@# shows the region, where @@ shows one of the regions in the US, and # represents the satellite data source, GOES/East (1), or GOES/West (2). Also listed is the Imager ASOS SCP for Hawaii SCPPR2 and SCPSR3 for the Florida Keys, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Regional Names States Apprev. Satellite Sensor WMO Header
Central Region
Eastern Region
Pacific Region
Southern Region
Western Region

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Sample Satellite cloud product (SCP)

GOES Resolution:  Varies Frequency:  Hourly