This week's Blue Dot is a classic episode. Our nation's fleet of weather satellites are one of our greatest orbital assets. They provide the data that is fed into sophisticated computer models which are then used by forecasters to give us accurate 5 to 7 day outlooks on the weather. In November, the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS-1 was launched with amazing instrumental capabilities. In the image above, you can see the smoke plumes from the devastating Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service operate the nation's weather satellites and provide their products for local forecasters, firefighters and disaster planners as well as commerce and industry. In this episode, Dave talks to Mitch Goldberg, the Program Scientist for the JPSS and an expert on all types of weather satellites. In the second half of the show, a three way discussion ensues with Joe Pica, the Director of Observations for the NWS and Rob Elvington, a television meteorologist with a deep level of understanding of how to use satellite data and imagery for his daily forecasts.