Volcanic ash plume from Popocatépetl in central Mexico

April 18th, 2012 |
GOES-15 (left), GOES-12 (center), and GOES-13 (right) visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 (left), GOES-12 (center), and GOES-13 (right) visible channel images (click image to play animation)

A small volcanic ash plume from Popocatépetl in central Mexico was seen streaming east-southeastward on GOES-15 (GOES-West), GOES-12, and GOES-13 (GOES-East) visible channel images (above; click image to play animation) during the early morning hours on 18 April 2012. Satellite imagery over this particular region is available every 15 minutes on a routine basis from GOES-13, but only every 30 minutes from GOES-15 and every 3 hours from GOES-12.

According to the advisory issued by the Washington VAAC (below), the volcanic ash was extending upward to an altitude of around 23,000 feet.

Washington VAAC advisory

Washington VAAC advisory

Large mesoscale convective system over Argentina

February 7th, 2012 |
GOES-12 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-12 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

McIDAS images of 4-km resolution GOES-12 10.7 µm IR channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the development of a very large mesoscale convective system (MCS) over Argentina on 07 February 2012. A number of smaller, discrete thunderstorms initially began to develop around 14:45 UTC, which then eventually merged into a large MCS having large areas which exhibited cloud top IR brightness temperatures of -80 C and colder (purple color enhancement). Multiple “enhanced-v” storm top signatures could be seen at various times, which is a satellite signature of thunderstorms that are capable of producing either tornadoes, large hail, or damaging winds.

Much more detail in the cloud top IR brightness temperature structure can be seen in a 375-meter resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm image at 18:21 UTC (below). The coldest VIIRS IR brightness temperatures sensed was -96 C (darker violet color enhancement) — much colder than the -77 C seen on the corresponding 18:15 UTC GOES-12 IR image. The black striping seen along the right side of the image is an artifact of the side-to-side scan strategy of the VIIRS instrument; software to remove these artifacts and create a smoother-looking image is under development.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR image

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR image

Wildfires burning in Chile

January 2nd, 2012 |
GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel images (click image to play animation)

As a result of prolonged drought and a mid-summer heat wave across southern Chile, a number of wildfires were burning in parts of the region on 01 January02 January 2012 (surface analysis). GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (above; click image to play animation) showed a number of fire “hot spots” (yellow to red color enhancement) between Concepcion (station identifier SCIE) and Chillan (station identifier SCCH) from the late afternoon on 01 January until the early morning hours on 02 January.

During the subsequent daytime hours, GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel images (below; click image to play animation) revealed a long hazy smoke plume that was drifting northwestward out over the adjacent Pacific Ocean. As daytime heating increased, cumulus clouds with a few thunderstorms could also be seen developing farther inland over the higher terrain of the Andes Mountains.

GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

Rawinsonde data from Santo Domingo (station identifier SCSN) at 12 UTC indicated that southeasterly winds existed near the top of the deep temperature inversion, between 741 hPa (2.6 km) and 700 hPa (3.1 km) — so this is likely the approximate altitude of the smoke plume seen drifting toward the northwest on the GOES-12 visible satellite imagery.

Santo Domingo, Chile rawinsonde data plot

Santo Domingo, Chile rawinsonde data plot

A high-resolution MODIS true color image of the fire smoke plume can be seen on the NASA Earth Observatory site.

Hurricane Adrian in the East Pacific

June 9th, 2011 |
GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel images

GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel images

 

Hurricane Adrian developed into a Category 3 hurricane early in the day on 09 June 2011. McIDAS images of GOES-12 0.63 µm visible channel data (above) initially showed a well-defined eye before it began to get partially obscured by the high clouds of a central dense overcast (CDO).

DMSP SSMIS 85 GHz microwave images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) revealed a distinct eye at 12:09 UTC and 14:56 UTC.

DMSP SSMIS 85 GHz microwave images

DMSP SSMIS 85 GHz microwave images

GOES 10.7 µm IR images (below) also briefly showed a well-defined eye early in the day, which later filled in a bit beneath the CDO as a curved band of cold high clouds began to wrap around the eastern and northern quadrants of the hurricane.

GOES 10.7 µm IR images

GOES 10.7 µm IR images

The circulation of Hurricane Adrian could be clearly seen on an AWIPS image of ASCAT scatterometer winds overlaid on a GOES IR image (below).

ASCAT scatterometer winds (overlaid on GOES IR image)

ASCAT scatterometer winds (overlaid on GOES IR image)

AWIPS images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product (below) showed that Adrian was tapping moisture from the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) / “Monsoon Trough”, which was located at approximately 10º North latitude over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

 

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product

===== 10 June Update =====

Hurricane Adrian intensified to a Category 4 storm on 10 June 2011. 4-km resolution GOES 10.7 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) continued to show a well-defined eye structure.

GOES 10.7 µm IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES 10.7 µm IR images (click image to play animation)

A closer view of the eye could be seen using 1-km resolution GOES visible channel images (below; click image to play animation).

GOES visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES visible channel images (click image to play animation)

The intensity of Hurricane Adrian was expected to decrease as the storm began to move over colder waters, as seen on an image of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) analysis (below).

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) analysis

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) analysis