December 17 2013

JPSS: A Primary Forecasting Tool for Polar Regions

visible new ice
The formation of new ice is visible in this image captured by the NOAA/NASA Suomi-NPP Satellite.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is a primary weather observation satellite system for Alaska and the Polar Regions, and serves as a 'nowcasting' tool for predicting weather in locations that are not visible to geostationary satellites. Data from JPSS polar-orbiting satellites contribute to the U.S National Ice Center, which provides snow and ice products to support the military as well as the transportation and energy sectors. In fact, more than 95% of the data used in National Ice Center sea ice analyses are derived from the remote sensors on polar-orbiting satellites.

On December 12, NOAA issued its Arctic Report Card 2013 which summarized conditions in the Arctic and the importance of monitoring environmental changes in the region.

JPSS instruments provide observations of many types of weather and environmental conditions which directly impact those living in Polar Regions including:

These environmental satellite observations, coupled with sophisticated models, supercomputers, and expert forecasters at NOAA, are improving weather prediction capabilities for Arctic regions. Instruments currently flying on the Suomi NPP satellite are paving the way for the next instruments that will be on board the JPSS-1 and JPSS-2 satellites and are providing outstanding data and imagery that is central to weather prediction in Alaska.

The formation of new ice is visible in this image captured by the NOAA/NASA Suomi-NPP Satellite.

For more information about JPSS' role in monitoring weather in Alaska and the Arctic, click here [PDF] to learn about how the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument provides benefits to Direct Broadcast users in Alaska during both the day and night.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.