Extreme Temperature

The image shows the heat emanating from Death Valley on 30 June 2013. The measurement is surface temperature as measured by the Thermal Infrared Sensor on the Landsat 8 satellite. The accompanying natural color view from the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 shows that the cooler areas are either higher in elevation or covered with plants. Image: NASA.

Definition

A general term for temperature variations above (extreme heat) or below (extreme cold) normal conditions (IRDR Glossary).

Since climate varies regionally, the definition of an extreme temperature and its threshold will differ from location to location. In other words, an extreme value in one location may be within the normal range in a different location (WMO).

A simple method is to establish a specific threshold for temperature and extreme precipitation events and evaluate the extremes that occur over (or under) that given threshold. Another common mean of ascertaining thresholds is based on selecting the tail of distributions for temperature and precipitation.Statistical partitions such as by quartiles or percentiles of the distribution have provided a means for evaluating extremes (WMO).

Facts and figures

Heat waves

A period of marked unusual hot weather (maximum, minimum and daily average temperature) over a region persisting at least three consecutive days during the warm period of the year based on local (station-based) climatological conditions, with thermal conditions recorded above given thresholds. Heat waves differ from warm spells. Similar to heat waves, warm spells are defined as a persistent period of abnormal warm weather. A warm spell occurs at any time of the year, whereas heat waves can only occur in the warm season (WMO).

Cold waves

A period of marked and unusual cold weather characterized by a sharp and significant drop of air temperatures near the surface (maximum, minimum and daily average) over a large area and persisting below certain thresholds for at least two consecutive days during the cold season. “Cool spell” refers to persistently below-average temperature conditions occurring during the warm season (WMO).

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SAM Satellite

The NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) was renamed to Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) in honor of Verner E. Suomi, University of Wisconsin meteorologist, widely recognized as the "Father of Satellite Meteorology."

Launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base a board a Delta-II Mission Launch Vehicle in October 2011, Suomi NPP is the predecessor to the JPSS series spacecraft and is considered the bridge between NOAA's legacy polar satellite fleet, NASA's Earth observing missions and the JPSS constellation. Suomi NPP was constructed with a design life of five years (although it’s still functioning normally).

and carries five state-of-the-art instruments: (1) VIIRS, (2) CrIS, (3) ATMS, (4) OMPS, and (5) CERES FM5.

Instruments:
VIIRS (Visible/Infrared Imager and Radiometer Suite)
CrIS (Cross Track Infrared Sounder)
ATMS (Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder)
OMPS (Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite)... read more

Launch date:
28/10/2011

NASRDA (National Space Research & Development Agency) of Abuja, Nigeria has continued its association with SSTL, with two parallel projects - the NX and NigeriaSat-2. Like NigeriaSat-1, NX is based on the SSTL-100, but is being developed by a team of 26 Nigerian trainee engineers at SSTL's facilities in England. The Nigerian engineers will completely manage the total lifecycle of the NX and will be responsible for the delivery of the satellite to full flight specification.
Capacity building is central to the implementation of the Nigeria Space Program. As part of the Know-How Technology Training (KHTT) on the NigeriaSat-2 satellite project is the development of a training model (TM) named NigeriaSat-X. The TM will be used to give the KHTT’s hands on experience in the requirements specification, project management, system engineering, manufacture, test, assembly / integration and final system testing of a spacecraft. Unlike the NigeriaSat-1... read more

Launch date:
17/08/2011

In November 2006, NASRDA (National Space Research and Development Agency) of Abuja, Nigeria awarded a contract to SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.) of Guildford, UK, to develop and build NigeriaSat-2, including the related ground infrastructure and image processing facilities, together with an extensive training program to further develop an indigenous space capability in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. NASRDA is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology of Nigeria established in 1999.
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Launch date:
17/08/2011

GOES 15 (GOES-P) is an American weather satellite, which will form part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The spacecraft was constructed by Boeing, and is the last of three GOES satellites to be based on the BSS-601 bus. In addition to weather forecasting on Earth, a key instrument onboard GOES-P, the Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI), will help NOAA continue monitoring solar conditions.

Instruments:
GEOS&R (Geostationary Search and Rescue)
SEM/MAG (SEM / Magnetometer)
SOUNDER (GOES Sounder)
SXI (Solar X-ray Imager)
SEM/EPS (SEM / Energetic Particles Sensor)
SEM/HEPAD (SEM / High Energy Proton and Alpha Particles Detector)
SEM/XRS-EUV (SEM / X-Ray Sensor - Extreme Ultra-Violet Sensor)
DCIS (Data Collection and Interrogation Service)
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Launch date:
04/03/2010

NOAA-19, designated NOAA-N' (NOAA-N Prime) prior to launch, is the last of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's POES series of weather satellites. NOAA-19 was launched on February 6, 2009.

On November 4, 2008, NASA announced that the satellite had arrived at Vandenberg aboard a C-5 Galaxy military transport aircraft. Installation of the payload fairing took place January 27, 2009; second stage propellant was loaded on January 31.

Several attempts were made to conduct the launch. The first attempt was scrubbed after a failure was detected in a launch pad gaseous nitrogen pressurization system. The second attempt was scrubbed after the failure of a payload fairing air conditioning compressor, which is also part of the ground support equipment at the launch pad.

The satellite was successfully launched at about 2:22 a.m. PST. February 6, 2009 aboard a Delta II flying in the 7320 configuration from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

... read more

Launch date:
06/02/2009

METOP (Meteorological Operational) is Europe's first polar-orbiting operational meteorological satellite. It is the European contribution to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), a co-operative agreement between Eumetsat and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide data for climate and environmental monitoring and improved weather forecasting. The first MetOp-A satellite was launched in 2006, with the other two following at five-year intervals. In total, the programmes will be operational for at least 14 years.
Launched in October 2006, MetOp-A, the first satellite in the series of three, replaced one of two satellite services operated by NOAA and is Europe’s first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. Once operational in orbit, responsibilities for the meteorological satellite services have been shared between the USA and Europe.
The MetOp satellites are designed to work in conjunction with the NOAA satellite... read more

Launch date:
19/10/2006

Today, weather satellites scan the whole Earth, meaning not a single tropical storm or severe weather system goes undetected. The early detection and warnings they provide have saved thousands of lives.
Meteosat data is of unique value to nowcasting of high impact weather in support of safety of life and property.
It has been shown to improve weather forecasts and severe weather warnings which, in turn helps limit damage to property and benefits industry e.g. transport, agriculture and energy.
Meteosat-9 provides a backup service to Meteosat-11 Full Earth scanning and a gap filling service to Meteosat-10 Rapid Scanning.

Instruments:
GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget)
MSG Comms (Communications Package for MSG)
SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager)
 

Launch date:
22/12/2005

NOAA-18, known before launch as NOAA-N, is a weather forecasting satellite run by NOAA. NOAA-N (18) was launched on May 20, 2005, into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 854 km above the Earth, with an orbital period of 102 minutes. It hosts the AMSU-A, MHS, AVHRR, Space Environment Monitor SEM/2 instrument and High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) instruments, as well as the SBUV/2 ozone-monitoring instrument. It is the first NOAA POES satellite to use MHS in place of AMSU-B.

APT transmission frequency is 137.9125 MHz (NOAA-18 changed frequencies with NOAA-19 on June 23, 2009).

Instruments:
AMSU-A (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - A)
AVHRR/3 (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer / 3)
HIRS/4 (High-resolution Infra Red Sounder / 4)
MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounding)
S&RSAT (Search & Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System)
SBUV/2 (Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet / 2)
DCS/2 (Data Collection... read more

Launch date:
20/05/2005

Today, weather satellites scan the whole Earth, meaning not a single tropical storm or severe weather system goes undetected. The early detection and warnings they provide have saved thousands of lives.
Meteosat data is of unique value to nowcasting of high impact weather in support of safety of life and property.
It has been shown to improve weather forecasts and severe weather warnings which, in turn helps limit damage to property and benefits industry e.g. transport, agriculture and energy.
Meteosat-8 operates over the Indian Ocean performing Full Earth scanning. It also provides Search and Rescue monitoring and Data Collection Platform relay service (which includes relay of Tsunami warnings).

Instruments:
GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget)
MSG Comms (Communications Package for MSG)
SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager)
 

Launch date:
28/08/2002

Aqua, Latin for water, is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named for the large amount of information that the mission is collecting about the Earth's water cycle. The Aqua mission is a part of the NASA-centered international Earth Observin System (EOS). Aqua was formerly named EOS PM, signifying its afternoon equatorial crossing time.
Aqua was launched on May 4, 2002, and has six Earth-observing instruments on board, collecting a variety of global data sets. Aqua was originally developed for a six-year design life but has now far exceeded that original goal and is expected to be operating into successfully into the early 2020s. It continues transmitting high-quality data from four of its six instruments, AIRS, AMSU, CERES, and MODIS, and reduced quality data from a fifth instrument, AMSR-E. The sixth Aqua instrument, HSB, collected approximately nine months of high quality data but failed in February 2003.

Instruments:
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Launch date:
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