Southern Hemisphere summer solstice sunlight

December 21st, 2017 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) Full Disk images [click to play animation]

The Southern Hemisphere Summer Solstice (and the Northern Hemisphere Winter Solstice) occurred at 1628 UTC on 21 December 2017. A 24-hour animation of GOES-16 Full Disk “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images ending just after the Solstice time (above) showed that the far southern latitudes remained illuminated during the entire time.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Close-up views of the far Southern Hemisphere portion of the GOES-16 Full Disk are shown using “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images (below). The most prominent feature was the cloud shield of a 960 hPa storm system (surface analysis) moving west of the Antarctic Peninsula and over the Bellingshausen Sea — on the Snow/Ice images, clouds composed of ice crystals appear as darker shades of gray. At the end of each animation, land-fast sea ice can be seen extending northward from the Antarctic coast in the lower left portion of the images (ice appears bright white on the Visible imagery, and dark gray on the Snow/Ice imagery). In the lower center portion of the images, bright sun glint off ice-free water is apparent on 21 December at 0445 and 0500 UTC.

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” images [click to play MP4 animation]

Large iceberg breaks off the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica

July 12th, 2017 |

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images on 12 July 2017 (above; courtesy of William Straka, SSEC) shows the large iceberg (named A-68) that had separated from the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica (Project MIDAS).

===== 13 July Update =====

A 12 July vs 13 July comparison of VIIRS Infrared Window and Day/Night Band images (below) revealed a slight expansion of the ice fracture, as Iceberg A-68 slowly drifted away from the Larsen-C ice shelf.

12 July vs 13 July Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

12 July vs 13 July Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

12 July vs 13 July Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

12 July vs 13 July Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

2016 Northern Hemisphere winter / Southern Hemisphere summer solstice

December 21st, 2016 |

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.635 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.635 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The 2016 Northern Hemisphere winter / Southern Hemisphere summer solstice occurred at 1044 UTC on 21 December. EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 Visible (0.635 µm) images (above; source) showed the westward progression of the solar terminator (which separates daylight from darkness) at 3-hour intervals.

Nearly the entire continent of Antarctica was illuminated by 24 hours of daylight, as seen on JMA Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images (below; also available as a 60 Mbyte animated GIF). Full-disk images are routinely available at 10-minute intervals from Himawari-8 (and can be available as frequently as every 5 minutes from the GOES-R series).

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

With the continuous daylight, Antarctic surface air temperatures from AMRC Automated Weather Stations (below; source) were seen to warm above 40ºF along the coast, and above -30ºF in the interior.

AMRC AWS station surface temperatures at 20 December (22 UTC) and 21 December (05 and 11 UTC) [click to enlarge]

AMRC AWS station surface temperatures at 20 December (22 UTC) and 21 December (05 and 11 UTC) [click to enlarge]

Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

February 24th, 2016 |

Antarctic Infrared composite images [click to play animation]

Antarctic Infrared composite images [click to play animation]

The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis was resupplying at Mawson Station along the Indian Ocean coast of Antarctica (map) when a strong storm (surface analysis) producing blizzard conditions — with winds as high as 86 knots gusting to 98 knots at 0936 UTC — caused it to break free from its mooring lines and run aground on 24 February 2016 (news release). Antarctic infrared composite images (using data from both geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites), above, showed the evolution and movement of the storm as it intensified close to Mawson Station early in the day on 24 February.