Journal of Operational Meteorology
Journal of Operational Meteorology
Home Publications Call for Papers Authors Reviewers Search About

Next Generation Satellite RGB Dust Imagery Leads to Operational Changes at NWS Albuquerque

Kevin K. Fuell1, Brian J. Guyer2, Deirdre Kann2, Andrew L. Molthan3, and Nicholas Elmer4

1University of Alabama in Huntsville/Earth System Science Center, Huntsville, Alabama
2NOAA/National Weather Servce, Albuquerque, New Mexico
3NASA Marshall Space Flight Center/Earth Science Office, Huntsville, Alabama
4University of Alabama in Huntsville/Department of Atmosopheric Science, Huntsville, Alabama


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center has been providing unique, multispectral red-green-blue (RGB) composite imagery to operational forecasters since 2004. More recently, SPoRT has used the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites “best practices” standards for RGB composites to transition a wide array of imagery for multiple uses. A “Dust” RGB product has been made available for evaluation at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico (ABQ), since 2012. Several cases have occurred where forecasters were able to isolate dust plume locations for mesoscale and synoptic events during daytime and nighttime conditions. This type of imagery is a large change from the single channel imagery typically used by operational forecast staff and, therefore, can be a challenge to interpret. This paper focuses on the integration of such new imagery into operational use as well as the benefits assessed by NWS ABQ over several documented events. The primary benefits include improvements in short-term forecasts of ceiling conditions for the aviation community as well as improved decision support services and communication to the general public regarding blowing dust.

Vol. 4, No. 6 (2016): PDF (2296 KB)    DOI:

Fuell, K. K., B. J. Guyer, D. Kann, A. L. Molthan, and N. Elmer, 2016: Next generation satellite RGB dust imagery leads to operational changes at NWS Alburquerque. J. Operational Meteor., 4 (6), 75–91.


Last updated 3/15/2016 by MJB.



ISSN 2325-6184
DOI: 10.15191/nwajom/

The JOM is published by the National Weather Association as single issues. The JOM's inauguration is 1/1/2013.

JOM Email Notify

JOM [rss feed] RSS Feed

JOM Author Templates
 (updated 12/23/2014)
    Short Contribution
    Images of Note

 Author Final Checklist

Legacy Journals (≤2012)
    Natl. Wea. Dig.

Become an NWA member by calling 405-701-5167

Comments or questions? Contact

Want to advertise here? Contact