User Profile: Kevin Gallo

Who Uses NASA Earth Science Data? Kevin Gallo, to improve radar and satellite estimations of hail size and damage.
Kevin Gallo (R) with co-investigator Philip Schumacher (NOAA/National Weather Service, L) at a 2011 storm survey. Image courtesy of Gallo.

Kevin Gallo, Physical Scientist, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Research interests: Gallo uses satellite and in situ data to validate NOAA operational satellite data and products. He is a member of the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 (GOES-16) Land Algorithm Working Group and is co-lead on developing the NOAA-U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Land Product Characterization System (LPCS). The LPCS helps facilitate the characterization and validation of land-related products from GOES-16 and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

Current research focus: Gallo and his colleagues are working on developing hail validation and assessment products for the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which is the primary GOES-16 instrument for imaging Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment.

Data products used:

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data sets available through the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC):

  • Daily surface reflectance and vegetation index products with 500 m and 1000 m spatial resolution (short names: MOD09GA and MYD09GA)
  • Daily Land Surface Temperature utilized at 1000 m spatial resolution (short names: MOD11A1 and MYD11A1)
  • Combined Land Cover product on an annual time scale (short name: MCD12Q1)

Additional data products Gallo uses include:

  • Daily VIIRS gridded products (500 m spatial resolution), available through the Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System DAAC (LAADS DAAC)
  • Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) 30 m data products, available through USGS

Research findings: The ABI includes a near-infrared channel that permits computation of vegetation indices at five-minute intervals over the conterminous U.S. Gallo and his colleagues used MODIS and Landsat data to simulate GOES-16 ABI vegetation index data. By comparing these simulated vegetation indices with observer- and radar-based assessments of hail damage and size, they found that GOES-16 ABI vegetation index products—if available at a 1000 m spatial resolution—may be useful in validating the spatial extent and severity of hail events.

Read about the research:

Gallo, K., Dwyer, J., Foga, S., Jenkerson, C., Longhenry, R. & Stensaas, G. (2015). NOAA-USGS Land Product Characterization System. STAR JPSS 2015 Annual Science Team Meeting. Available online (link).

Gallo, K., Schumacher, P. & Boustead, J. (Principal Investigators). (2014). Development of GOES-R ABI Hail Validation and Assessment Products. NASA GOES-R Proposal Abstract. Available online (link).

Gallo, K., Smith. T., Jungbluth, K. & Schumacher, P. (2012). Hail Swaths Observed from Satellite Data and Their Relation to Radar and Surface-Based Observations: A Case Study From Iowa in 2009. Weather Forecasting, 27(3): 796-802. doi:10.1175/WAF-D-11-00118.1

Schumacher, P., Gallo, K. & Jungbluth, K. (2010). Severe storm assessment using satellite data: Case studies from Iowa in 2009. American Meteorological Society 25th Conference on Severe Local Storms. Abstract available online (link).

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