Hurricane Force low over the Atlantic Ocean

March 31st, 2017 |

GOES-16 7.3 µm (left), 6.9 µm (center) and 6.2 µm (right) Water Vapor images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 7.3 µm (left), 6.9 µm (center) and 6.2 µm (right) Water Vapor images [click to play animation]

** The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing. **

GOES-16 Lower-Level (7.3 µm),  Mid-Level (6.9 µm) and Upper-Level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (above; also available as an MP4 animation) revealed the circulation associated with a Hurricane Force low over the North Atlantic Ocean (centered southeast of Newfoundland, Canada) on 31 March 2017. Plotted along the left edge of each image panel are hourly surface wind barbs and wind gusts (red, in knots) for St. Johns to the north (plot | text) and Cape Race to the south (plot | text) — winds gusted to 66 knots or 76 mph at Cape Race, and 49 knots or 56 mph at St. Johns (where the winds pushed a surge of sea ice into the harbor).

In a comparison of GOES-16 0.5-km resolution Visible (0.64 µm) and 2-km resolution Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (below), both lower- and middle-tropospheric structures of the storm could be seen. Plotted on the images are hourly surface wind barbs and wind gusts (red, in knots).

GOES-16 0.64 µm Visible (left) and 6.9 µm Water Vapor (right) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 0.64 µm Visible (left) and 6.9 µm Water Vapor (right) images [click to play animation]

This storm had an interesting history of development. GOES-13 (GOES-East) Water Vapor (6.5 µm) images (below) showed that a southern storm — which was the subject of an Invest (AL90) for possible subtropical storm development — moved northward during the 28-30 March period, eventually merging with another storm that had moved offshore from the eastern US. During the day on 30 March, the sharp dry/moist gradient signature of a well-defined jet streak was then seen moving southeastward into the western edge of the merged system (1015 UTC image), providing energy for rapid intensification on 31 March (surface analyses).

GOES-13 Water Vapor (6.5 µm) images, with hourly surface weather symbols [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Water Vapor (6.5 µm) images, with hourly surface weather symbols [click to play animation]

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