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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 2 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 409-422, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 11 Feb 2016

Research article | 11 Feb 2016

Development and validation of satellite-based estimates of surface visibility

J. Brunner1, R. B. Pierce2, and A. Lenzen1 J. Brunner et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Satellite Applications and Research, Madison, WI, USA

Abstract. A satellite-based surface visibility retrieval has been developed using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measurements as a proxy for Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) data from the next generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES-R). The retrieval uses a multiple linear regression approach to relate satellite aerosol optical depth, fog/low cloud probability and thickness retrievals, and meteorological variables from numerical weather prediction forecasts to National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) surface visibility measurements. Validation using independent ASOS measurements shows that the GOES-R ABI surface visibility retrieval (V) has an overall success rate of 64.5% for classifying clear (V ≥ 30 km), moderate (10 km ≤ V<30 km), low (2 km ≤ V<10 km), and poor (V<2km) visibilities and shows the most skill during June through September, when Heidke skill scores are between 0.2 and 0.4. We demonstrate that the aerosol (clear-sky) component of the GOES-R ABI visibility retrieval can be used to augment measurements from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Park Service (NPS) Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network and provide useful information to the regional planning offices responsible for developing mitigation strategies required under the EPA's Regional Haze Rule, particularly during regional haze events associated with smoke from wildfires.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A satellite based surface visibility retrieval has been developed for the GOES-R ABI instrument using MODIS proxy data and validated using independent ASOS surface visibility measurements. Variability in the frequency of clear sky (aerosol) surface visibility retrievals larger than 20 dV is shown to be correlated with seasonal and interannual variability in fire detections, illustrating the importance of smoke from wildfires in regional haze events.
A satellite based surface visibility retrieval has been developed for the GOES-R ABI instrument...