An EF-1 Tornado struck Lake Geneva, WI after sunset on 18 August 2015 (SPC Storm Reports; NWS MKX report). GOES-14 was in SRSO-R mode, providing 1-minute imagery over the region; additionally, GOES-13 was in RSO mode, providing imagery about every 7 minutes. Unfortunately, GOES-14 requires two 15-minute breaks in scanning to perform housekeeping (Link); one of those periods is from 0130-0145 UTC, 13 minutes before the tornado touchdown at 0158 UTC. (GOES-R will not require these 15-minute breaks). The animation above pauses during that housekeeping time; it also slows for the ten minutes surrounding 0158 UTC. (Click here for an animation without the White Box signifying Lake Geneva).
The 0158 UTC imagery from GOES-14 (paired with the 0155 UTC imagery from GOES-13 is shown below. An overshooting top that is associated with the tornado is apparent (northeast of Lake Geneva because of the parallax shift). This overshoot is easily traceable in the 1-minute imagery, above, as it moves northeastward towards Lake Michigan. The feature also appears and can be tracked in GOES-13.
Automated detection of Overshooting Tops (and thermal couplets) (from this website) showed a cluster of Overshooting Tops moving over southeast Wisconsin at the time of the tornado. The number of Overshoots detected jumped about an hour before the tornado touchdown.
For the central Montana wildfire, the first unambiguous signature of a darker black wildfire hot spot began to appear on each satellite after about 1945 UTC, with the first color-enhanced pixels (signifying a shortwave IR brightness temperature of 331.9 K) showing up on the 2026 UTC GOES-14 image. The hottest fire pixel on the GOES-15 images was 336.5 K at 2130 UTC, while the hottest fire pixel on GOES-13 images was 329.8 K at 2125 UTC. From 2120 to 2130 UTC, the hottest GOES-14 fire pixels were 341.2 K (the saturation temperature of the 3.9 µm detectors on that satellite).
With the finer spatial resolution of the shortwave IR detectors on the polar-orbiting MODIS (1-km) and VIIRS (375-meter) instruments, a fire hot spot was first detected on the 1857 UTC VIIRS image (below).
During the preceding overnight hours, a comparison of 1003 UTC Suomi NPP VIIRS shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm), Day/Night Band (0.8 µm), and Infrared (11.45 µm) images (below) showed a very large shortwave IR fire “hot spot” (yellow to red to black pixels), with the large fire glowing very brightly on the Day/Night Band image; the coldest IR BT value of the cloud streaming northward from the fire was -53º C.