Suomi NPP views of a strong midwest cyclone

February 21st, 2014
Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.38 µm near-infrared imagery (M09), 1736 UTC 21 February 2014 (click image to enlarge)

Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.38 µm near-infrared imagery (M09), 1736 UTC 21 February   2014 (click image to enlarge)

A strong late-winter cyclone brought significant snows and blizzard conditions to the upper Great Lakes/northern Plains on 21 February 2014 (NWS storm summaries: MPX | DLH | ARX). In the warm sector of the storm, there were numerous reports of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds in the eastern US. Suomi NPP viewed the storm multiple times, including just before 1800 UTC on 21 February.

The Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.38 µm imagery, above, was created using CSPP and highlights cirrus-level clouds, documenting just how widespread the canopy of this extratropical cyclone was (more imagery is available via ftp, and a description of the various bands is available here).

Suomi NPP VIIRS I1, Day/Night, I3, I4, I5 bands at 1736 UTC 21 February 2014 (click image to enlarge)

Suomi NPP VIIRS I1, Day/Night, I3, I4, I5 bands at 1736 UTC 21 February 2014 (click image to enlarge)

VIIRS imagery (375-meter resolution I-bands 1, 3, 4, and 5, along with the 750-meter resolution Day/Night Band) is available in AWIPS via an LDM subscription. The animation above cycles through these different bands as displayed using AWIPS: Visible (0.64 µm), Day/Night Band (0.70 µm), Snow/Ice Channel (1.61 µm), Shortwave IR (3.74 µm) and IR Window (11.45 µm) channels.

VIIRS 750-meter resolution M-bands can be used to create true-color imagery: the example from 1736 UTC is shown below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color imagery, 1736 UTC 21 February 2014 (click image to enlarge)

Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color imagery, 1736 UTC 21 February 2014 (click image to enlarge)

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