We are now receiving weather data images from the new weather satellite launched by NASA. The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, or NPP, was launched Friday, October 28 and is now operational. This satellite will replace aging satellites in orbit and also comes with new scanning technologies as it orbits Earth from North Pole to South Pole.
On Tuesday, November 8, the image you see below was sent back from space showing the water vapor in the lower atmosphere. If you look closely, you may be able to see Tropical Storm Sean, the blue shading off the Southeast coast.
The brand new satellite weighs two tons and cost tax payers $1.5 billion. It is about the size of a bus and is orbiting about 500 miles above Earth's surface. The NPP is gathering critical weather data, which is essential in running computer models. The new and improved data from NPP will ultimately help to bring more accurate model forecasts. The satellite has several instruments aboard, including a microwave sounder, microwave radiometer and a infrared sounder to name a few. These instruments collect temperature and moisture profiles. Over time the NPP will also be able to show climate change. In the end, hopefully this data will help us at ABC 13 make even more accurate forecasts for you, our loyal viewers!