Detection of tropical overshooting cloud tops using himawari-8 imagery

Miae Kim, Jungho Im, Haemi Park, Seonyoung Park, Myong In Lee, Myoung Hwan Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Overshooting convective cloud Top (OT)-accompanied clouds can cause severe weather conditions, such as lightning, strong winds, and heavy rainfall. The distribution and behavior of OTs can affect regional and global climate systems. In this paper, we propose a new approach for OT detection by using machine learning methods with multiple infrared images and their derived features. Himawari-8 satellite images were used as the main input data, and binary detection (OT or nonOT) with class probability was the output of the machine learning models. Three machine learning techniques-random forest (RF), extremely randomized trees (ERT), and logistic regression (LR)-were used to develop OT classification models to distinguish OT from non-OT. The hindcast validation over the Southeast Asia andWest Pacific regions showed that RF performed best, resulting in a mean probabilities of detection (POD) of 77.06% and a mean false alarm ratio (FAR) of 36.13%. Brightness temperature at 11.2 μm (Tb11) and its standard deviation (STD) in a 3 × 3 window size were identified as the most contributing variables for discriminating OT and nonOT classes. The proposed machine learning-based OT detection algorithms produced promising results comparable to or even better than the existing approaches, which are the infrared window (IRW)-texture and water vapor (WV) minus IRW brightness temperature difference (BTD) methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number685
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.


  • Extremely randomized trees
  • Himawari-8
  • Logistic regression
  • Overshooting tops
  • Random forest


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