KHOU 11 News Chief Meteorologist spoke with NOAA Deputy Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan about the value of NPP, a new weather satellite that streaked into orbit on Friday.
During the interview, she told Norman that new data from NPP’s state-of-the-art instruments will be fed into computer models run by the weather service. That could improve both the short-term forecast as well as long term understanding of climate change. In particular, she said, the instruments aboard NPP will help analyze the vertical structure of the atmosphere with more precision than is currently available. Understanding the location and strength of various atmospheric parameters is key because they drive the dynamic properties of storms.
When it comes to hurricanes, NPP will aid in the analyzing the structure of the atmosphere around developing storms, where there currently isn’t any data. That could help improve the accuracy of the 3 to 5 day track of hurricanes as well as aid in improving the intensity forecast.
NPP will begin sending back data in the next three months and could begin regularly contributing data into the daily computer models that I use here at KHOU within a year.
Click the video above to watch the full interview.