Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS)
Howard University is a partner institution of CISESS. CISESS enhances understanding of how the natural components of the Earth system—atmosphere, ocean, land, and biosphere—interact with human activities. CISESS researchers will use environmental data from JPSS satellites to develop new, more accurate products that help NOAA improve weather and climate forecasts.
JPSS Data Supports Post-Fire Debris Flow Forecasting
The National Weather Service needs timely burn intensity estimates to help forecast mud and debris flows following large wildland fires. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 with its wide swath and frequent overpasses is uniquely suited to greatly improve the applicability and timeliness of satellite-derived burn intensity estimates for debris flow forecasting. The VIIRS image shows the difference between September 28, 2016 (pre-burn) and September 26, 2017 (post-burn) following the Norse Peak Wildfire in Washington. Blue regions indicate reductions in vegetation and red lines outline areas of change. This information can be used by local Weather Forecasting Offices to issue mudslide and debris flow warnings following wildland fires.
Suomi-NPP Monitors Critical Chesapeake Bay Habitat
The Chesapeake Bay, North America’s largest estuary, provides a vital habitat for local marine life which supports the ecology and economy of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. NOAA plays a significant role in the Bay – not only do “smart buoys” collect and transmit real-time weather, water conditions, and water quality data, but NOAA and its partners help to restore conditions in the watersheds of the Bay by monitoring nutrients, and working with communities to ensure the long-term ecological function of the Bay. Captured November 13, 2016, this Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) image using three of the sensor’s high-resolution imagery channels to differentiate the land types in the areas, based on their visual and thermal differences. Bright pink areas are more barren, due to rock or urbanization, while green areas are vegetated.