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Significance of Satellite Data on Convective Clouds for Flight Accident Analysis and Prevention


Conditions are discussed of three well-known flight accidents in which deep convection has been observed (the crash of aircraft getting into the cloud system of a mesoscale convective complex; another crash in attempt to land in an area of embedded convection at the atmospheric front; ice-crystal icing of engines in an anvil cloud). In all the cases, convective clouds were clearly seen at the satellite images. The accidents could have been possibly avoided if this information, or the nowcasting results which take into account the satellite data, had been available in time to flight controllers and pilots. The state-of-art is analyzed of deep convection forecasting basing on satellite data assimilation into numerical models. A significant advancement is noted in nowcasting and very-short-range forecasting, along with some special problems of model result verification by means of their comparison against the satellite data.

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Correspondence to N. P. Shakina.

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Shakina, N.P., Gorlach, I.A. & Skriptunova, E.N. Significance of Satellite Data on Convective Clouds for Flight Accident Analysis and Prevention. Russ. Meteorol. Hydrol. 46, 866–871 (2021).

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  • deep convection
  • flight safety
  • satellite data
  • cloud top height
  • aviation weather forecasting
  • forecast verification