Storms are generally classified as a meteorological hazard, caused by short-lived, micro- to meso-scale extreme weather and atmospheric conditions that last from minutes to days (EM-DAT).
Facts and figures
There are several different types of storms distinguished by the strength and characteristics of atmospheric disturbances:
Convective/local storm: A type of meteorological hazard generated by the heating of air and the availability of moist and unstable air masses. Convective storms range from localized thunderstorms (with heavy rain and/or hail, lightning, high winds, tornadoes) to meso-scale, multi-day events.
Sandstorm, dust storm: Strong winds carry particles of sand aloft, but generally confined to less than 50 feet (15 metres), especially common in arid and semi-arid environments. A dust storm is also characterised by strong winds but carries smaller particles of dust rather than sand over an extensive area.
Tornado: A violently rotating column of air that reaches the ground or open water (waterspout).
Lightning: A high-voltage, visible electrical discharge produced by a thunderstorm and followed by the sound of thunder.
Winter storm, blizzard: A low pressure system in winter months with significant accumulations of snow, freezing rain, sleet or ice. A blizzard is a severe snow storm with winds exceeding 35 mph (56 km/h) for three or more hours, producing reduced visibility (less than .25 mile (400 m).
Orographic storm (strong wind): Differences in air pressure resulting in the horizontal motion of air. The greater the difference in pressure, the stronger the wind. Wind moves from high pressure toward low pressure.
Extratropical storm: A type of low-pressure cyclonic system in the middle and high latitudes (also called mid-latitude cyclone) that primarily gets its energy from the horizontal temperature contrasts (fronts) in the atmosphere.
Tropical storms: A tropical cyclone originates over tropical or subtropical waters. It is characterised by a warm-core, non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone with a low pressure centre, spiral rainbands and strong winds. Depending on their location, tropical cyclones are referred to as hurricanes (Atlantic, Northeast Pacific), typhoons (Northwest Pacific), or cyclones (South Pacific and Indian Ocean) (UNDRR, Sendai Framework).
Sentinel-1 is a two satellite constellation with the prime objectives of land and ocean monitoring. The goal of the mission is to provide C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data continuity following the retirement of ERS-2 and the end of the Envisat mission. To accomplish this the satellites carry a C-SAR sensor, which offers medium and high resolution imaging in all weather conditiions. The C-SAR is capable of obtaining night imagery and detecting small movement on the ground, which makes it useful for land and sea monitoring. Sentinel-1 will work in a pre-programmed operation mode to avoid conflicts and to produce a consistent long-term data archive built for applications based on long time series. The mission benefits numerous services. For example, services that relate to the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, routine sea-ice mapping, surveillance of the marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security,...
Serving as part of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, an international network of satellites that provide next-generation global observations of rain and snow, the GPM “Core Observatory” satellite carries an advanced radar / radiometer system to measure precipitation from space and serve as a reference standard to unify precipitation measurements from a constellation of research and operational satellites. The GPM mission builds upon the success of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Through improved measurements of precipitation globally, the GPM mission is helping to advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycles, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural hazards and disasters, and extend current capabilities in using accurate and timely information of precipitation to directly benefit society.
The FY-3 series of CMA/NSMC (China Meteorological Administration/National Satellite Meteorological Center) represents the second generation of Chinese polar-orbiting meteorological satellites (follow-on of FY-1 series). The FY-3 series represents a cooperative program between CMA and CNSA (China National Space Administration); it was initially approved in 1998 and entered full-scale development in 1999. Key aspects of the FY-3 satellite series include collecting atmospheric data for intermediate- and long-term weather forecasting and global climate research. The FY-3 series satellites monitor large-scale meteorological disasters, weather-induced secondary natural hazards and environment changes, and provides geophysical parameters for scientific research in climate change and its variability, climate diagnosis, and predictions. The FY-3 series renders global and regional meteorological information for aviation, ocean navigation, agriculture, forestry, marine activities,...
SJ-9 (Shi Jian = Practice) is a technology demonstration formation flight mission of CNSA (China National Space Administration), consisting of two minisatellites of different sizes and capabilities,SJ-9A and SJ-9B. The overall mission concept is to demonstrate the functionality of a range of newly developed formation flying techniques and components and to validate the formation flight GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control) algorithms and strategies of the system configuration. SJ 9B carries the LWIR (Long Wave Infrared) Camera as a technology experiment. The goal of the LWIR camera is to test mainly the functions of the instrument such as the focal-plane component and the long-life Stirling cryocooler which is designed to function as an autonomic research and development component. The camera features low-temperature optics. The operational temperature of optical system is kept in the range of -35ºC to -20ºC.
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. Metop-A (launched on 19 October 2006), Metop-B (launched on 17 September 2012) and Metop-C (launched 7 November 2018) are in a lower polar orbit, at an altitude of 817 kilometres, to provide more detailed observations of the global atmosphere, oceans and continents. The three satellites will operate in unison for as long as Metop-A's available capacities bring benefits to users. NOAA still continues to operate its mid-afternoon orbit satellite service as part of the Polar Orbit Enviromental Satellites (POES) system.
Instruments: A/DCS (Advanced Data Collection System) ...
SPOT-6 (Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre) is an optical satellite built by Astrium and was successfully launched on September 9, 2012 with SPOT 7 launched on June 30, 2014. The new generation SPOT-6 and 7 optical satellites feature technological improvements and advanced system performance allowing continuity in the SPOT constellation through to 2024. It is capable of imaging the Earth with a resolution of 1.5 meter panchromatic and 6 meter multispectral (blue, green, red, near-IR) and will offer imaging products to customers in defense, agriculture, deforestation, environmental monitoring, coastal surveillance, engineering, oil, gas and mining industries. The ability to respond accordingly to changing weather conditions, a reduced timeline for urgent tasking requests and an acquisition capacity of 3 million sq km per satellite shows an increased data capacity and simplified data access, major improvements in this generation of SPOT satellites. SPOT-6 and 7...
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-10 provides the Rapid Scanning Service, delivering more frequent images every five minutes over parts of Europe, Africa and adjacent seas. It also provides Search and Rescue monitoring.
Instruments: GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget) MSG Comms (Communications Package for MSG) SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager)
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.
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) IMAGER (GOES Imager)
The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) spacecraft OceanSat-2 is envisaged to provide service continuity for the operational users of OCM (Ocean Color Monitor) data as well as to enhance the application potential in other areas. OceanSat-2 will play an important role in forecasting the onset of the monsoon and its subsequent advancement over the Indian subcontinent and over South-East Asia. - The OceanSat-2 mission was approved by the Government of India on July 16, 2005.
Coverage of applications: - Sea-state forecast: waves, circulation and ocean MLD (Mixed Layer Depth) - Monsoon and cyclone forecast - medium and extended range - Observation of Antarctic sea ice - Fisheries and primary production estimation - Detection and monitoring of phytoplankton blooms - Study of sediment dynamics