New polar-orbiting satellite set to improve weather forecasts

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The first in a series of 4 state of the art satellites lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. But the new age satellites are different from the GOES-R satellite launched in 2016.

“GOES-R is basically an imager and it watches weather as it unfolds so it provides that continuous movie loops of clouds and information,” explained Dr. Mitch Goldberg, NOAA Chief Program Scientist for the JPSS. “JPSS-1 is very different, it is a polar orbit so it orbits from the North Pole to the South Pole and while it’s orbiting, the Earth is rotating underneath it so we can collect global observations.”

The observations will improve forecast accuracy three to seven days out. Hurricane track and intensity forecasts and severe weather outbreaks are just a few of the forecast improvements expected in the future.

“This new satellite actually helps to predict the potential for these types of outbreaks but then we would be tracking them with the geostationary satellites or even with ground radars,” said Joe Pica, NOAA National Weather Service Director of Observations.

Images sent back from JPSS will also help emergency managers visualize damage and power outages after a storm.

You can find more information on the JPSS satellite series here.

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