A survey of natural resource specialists and land managers was conducted at the beginning of the Pacific Coastal Fog Project. Survey results showed that the most urgently needed dataset was a fog frequency map to help make better natural resource decisions for ecosystem restoration, conservation, and preparing for future climate conditions. Fog maps like these could show which areas receive more or less (or no) fog. This data would help land managers understand the influence of fog on patterns of vegetation distribution, wildfire severity, and stream temperature.
The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) has used satellite camera imagery feeds since 1960 to improve real-time weather forecasting. Originally the images were processed and immediately erased to make room for more images. Over time, as storage technology improved and climate trend analysis became increasingly important, the data were archived although they still required sophisticated tools for analysis. The quantity of real-time weather data collected by NWS is staggering. Data from three of the five imaging sensors on the Geostationary Environmental Operational Satellite (GOES) can be combined to identify fog. Each sensor channel records images of a different section of the energy spectrum. Combined they reveal patterns of coastal fog formation and change over time when processed into hourly maps. Public websites that display weather satellite data usually only show the last 24 to 72 hours of data. However, the Pacific Coastal Fog Project is working on collecting and providing longer-term data. For more information about these data contact Alicia Torregrosa at the USGS.
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
Potential Metadata Source