od diagnosis of the actual state of the atmosphere
is an essential condition for a good weather forecast. Satellite data,
Numerical model output and conventional observations (e.g.radio sondes and
synops), are the tools for such a diagnosis. A combination of these three
enables the forecaster to obtain a proper three-dimensional image of the
The 3D view can even be extended by a fourth dimension; time,
by making uses of Conceptual Models.
Conceptual Models (CM) are an
important diagnostic tool, widely used by meteorological services. They
allow both an Interpretation of satellite data and the subsequent use of
this data in combination with other data such as numerical model output and
conventional observation data.
Conceptual Models are first described in
the early 1990s and, to date, around 80 have been identified and described
in various literature.
In 1996, the compilation of a "Manual of Synoptic Satellite
Meteorology - Conceptual Models" was started, initially by the Austrian
Meteorological Institute (ZAMG), but later in co-operation with the Dutch-
and Finnish Meteorological Institutes (KNMI and FMI, resp.). The material
produced in this manual is was produced in electronic form as a CD-ROM
within the framework of sponsored "SATREP" Project of EUMETSAT and is also
available online. This type of Computer Aided Learning-material is now
widely used as part of EUMETSAT training courses in satellite meteorology,
in the training and operational environments of several Member and
Co-operating States and by many other meteorological services and research
institutes such as Universities world-wide.
MSG IR10.8 with overlay of conceptual models.
In the SATREP-method a
combination of Satellite imagery and CMs is used to make a proper diagnoses
of the weather phenomena's and to obtain a qualitative view of the further
developments, up to twelve hours ahead, by using the knowledge of lifecycles
of the CMs involved. The CMs used in SATREP are all fully described in
the SatRep manual.