NOAA assumed full operational responsibility of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite which was operated by the NASA since October, 2011. Suomi NPP is equipped with new, sophisticated Earth-observing instruments that NOAA is using to support improved medium-to-long range weather forecasts.
According to a new study by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the NOAA forecasts of Hurricane Sandy’s track could have been hundreds of miles off without information from polar-orbiting satellites. Rather than identifying the New Jersey landfall location within 30 miles five-days before landfall, the models would have shown Sandy remaining at sea.
The GOES-13 spacecraft returned to full operations on Thursday, October 18, 2012. The satellite had been taken out of service due to technical problems in late September. The trouble stemmed from a motor vibration, which caused a lubricant buildup that obstructed the spinning motion of the filter wheel in the sounder.
Japan's Meteorological Agency has announced that its climate models and monitoring data indicate the El Niño phenomenon, which is often linked to heavy rainfall and droughts, has already emerged and it is likely to last until winter. The U.S.
Effective on May 15, 2012, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is making a modification to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is being used as a standard to measure hurricane intensity. The change broadens the Category 4 wind speed range by one mile per hour (mph) at each end of the range, yielding a new range of 130-156 mph.
On Jan. 22 and 23, 2012, more than 37 tornadoes struck the southern USA. Ten of them tore across the Lower Mississippi Valley into Alabama. Worst hit were St. Clair and Jefferson County, Ala., where 2 people were killed, about 100 others injured, and at least $30 million in damage was done. It was a chilling reminder of the April 2011 onslaught of deadly tornadoes that took a staggering toll across southern and Midwestern states.
In the predawn hours last Friday, the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparation Project satellite (let’s just call it NPP for short) was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, five years after its originally scheduled launch date.