EUMETSAT participates in Extreme Weather Congress
Mikael Rattenborg, EUMETSAT's Operations Director, gave a presentation on the first day of the congress on current and future space-based observations of extreme weather by Meteosat geostationary satellites, the EUMETSAT Polar System and the Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite. He listed the extreme weather events observed from space as cyclones, fog, severe convection, dust storms, precipitation, volcanic eruptions, fire monitoring, air pollution and climate change and provided examples, including the January 2009 storms over Scotland, south-western France and northern Spain.
Rattenborg described satellite observations as "essential" in severe weather monitoring as they depict smaller-scale cloud and water vapour features and regional meteorological weather patterns. "In particular the geostationary systems with their high temporal repeat cycle and the direct readout capabilities of the low earth observation systems support nowcasting applications," he explained.
Rattenborg said, "Satellites have proven to be the best way to observe the weather on a large scale and recent analyses at the European Centre for Medium Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) even prove that the satellite information is the most important part of the global observing system for modern numerical weather prediction."