Tracking cloud patterns by METEOSAT rapid scan imagery in complex terrain

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During the field phase of the Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP) in autumn 1999 Meteosat-6 performed 5-minute rapid scans of a region centred over the Alpine area. This dataset was used to implement a tracking technique based on the standard pattern correlation technique for tracking cloud patterns. Sensitivity studies with respect to the size of the tracked cloud regions, their textural characteristics and persistence were carried out. The big advantage of satellite imagery of high temporal resolution for tracking purposes is demonstrated. The rapid scans favour a continuous tracking of smaller-sized geographical windows (e.g. 15 x 15 pixels) with a high tracking quality expressed in terms of correlation. This is true for rapidly developing convective cells or weakly-textured stratiform cloud areas. Besides the temporal resolution of the images the tracking results are dependent on the size of the initially defined target pattern and the rate of development.

Wa¨hrend der Feldphase des Mesoscale Alpine Programme (MAP) im Herbst 1999 lieferte Meteosat-6 rapid scans im 5-Minuten Takt vom Alpenraum. Mit diesem Datensatz wurden mit Hilfe der Standard Pattern Correlation Technik Wolkenmuster verfolgt. Sensitivita¨tsstudien bezu¨glich der Gro¨ße der verfolgten Wolkenregionen, deren texturellen Eigenschaften sowie deren Persistenz wurden durchgefu¨hrt. Der große Vorteil von zeitlich hoch aufgelo¨sten Satellitenbildern fu¨r Tracking Anwendungen wird aufgezeigt. Die rapid scan Bilder begu¨nstigen das stete Tracking von kleineren geographischen Regionen (z.B. 15 x 15 Pixel) durch eine hohe Qualita¨t, welche durch das Maß der Korrelation angezeigt wird. Dies gilt fu¨r eine sich rasch entwickelnde konvektive Zelle oder fu¨r eine schwach-texturierte stratiforme Wolkenregion. Neben der zeitlichen Auflo¨sung der Bilder sind die Tracking Resultate abha¨ngig von der Gro¨ße des anfa¨nglich definierten Target-Musters und dessen Entwicklungsintensita¨t.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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