JPSS-1 Satellite Provides Views of River Ice

Riverwatch-JPSS-1 (KTUU)
Published: Apr. 20, 2018 at 7:22 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

THE Ice Classics are still going on, so that tells us the rivers aren't wuite thawed yet. But once break-up does start, forecasters begin weeks of watching the process unfold. New space-based tools will track the river break-up process down on earth. Alaska has thousands of miles of rivers and when that much ice starts to thaw this time of year, and move, that can lead to danger.

Riverwatch teams fly over the sections of river that they can and observers on the ground can monitor ice and river conditions too.Forecasters will utilize this latest imagery to help them watch the rivers this year. .JPSS-1 is the newest high-resolution polar-orbiting satellite. Nate Eckstein is the Science Integration and Technology Transfer Meteorologist for NOAA-NWS.

He says "The JPSS satellite has several sensors on it that can distinguish ice and water and mixtures of the two. And that can tell forecasters a lot about what's going on on the surface of the river-how much open water, how much ice and hydrologists can look at that and determine where essential flooding might be occurring. And they do that with the absence of an observer on the ground."

The new satellite will enhance weather forecasting in other parts of the United States, including hurricane tracking, post-hurricane recovery by detaling storm damage and mapping of power outages.