Satellite launches this weekend to help weather forecasting and more

Satellite launches this weekend to help weather forecasting and more

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - This weekend you can watch a satellite launch into the atmosphere from the comfort and safety of your own home!

This is part of a collaboration with the US and Europe to better track sea-level rise and atmospheric conditions.

In as little as six months, we will have better weather forecasting models and much more.

The launch is scheduled for 12:17 p.m. Saturday in California. Sentinel 6 will continue the work of other satellites that have been measuring sea level rise and temperatures since 1992.

“Sea level is one of the critical measurements of climate change and that’s in part because in the ocean, we see the stored heat as temperatures rise,” explains NOAA Sentinel 6 Program Scientist Eric Leuliette, “In fact the ocean stores 90% of heat that the earth receives.”

In the past almost 30 years, these satellites have been able to tell us more about climate change and how that will impact us.

The satellite can also help ship navigation in the ocean with its ability to measure wave height and the changing current in the ocean.

“Probably the most important thing that we’ve learned is that sea level doesn’t rise equally everywhere,” continues Leuliette, “There has been certain places we’ve seen the rise much higher than other places, including recently the east coast has seen more sea-level rise. And that’s been showing up with flooding not only with storms but even in clear weather at high tide we’ve been seeing increased flooding all the way from the Florida Keys through Norfolk, Virginia.”

You often hear members of the First Alert Weather Team talk about the computer models we use to forecast the weather.

Beginning next spring, thanks to this satellite. We will have more precise models to forecast the weather right here in the Tri-State.

“Sentinel 6 will also carry an instrument built by NASA that will profile the atmosphere everywhere,” says Leuliette, “That data will be sent to NOAA and will be used in weather models so there will be an instrument that will improve weather forecasts over the whole United States.”

A twin satellite will be launched in 2025 to continue collecting this important data.

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