Space-X Falcon Heavy rocket launch signature

June 25th, 2019 |

16-panel images of all GOES-16 ABI spectral bands [click to enlarge]

16-panel images of all GOES-16 ABI spectral bands [click to enlarge]

A Space-X Falcon Heavy rocket launch of the STP-2 mission occurred at 0630 UTC (2:30 am EDT) on 25 June 2019. 16-panel images showing all GOES-16 ABI spectral bands (above) revealed visible and thermal signatures — ranging from hot thermal signals of air superheated by the rocket exhaust (perhaps best seen in Water Vapor bands 8, 9 and 10) to signatures of the low-altitude exhaust plume cloud drifting slowly southward just off the Florida coast.

A magnified view of the 16-panel image at 0630 UTC is shown below. Note that there was a rocket signal seen in all 16 spectral bands — even the “Blue” Visible (0.47 µm) Channel 1, with a very subtle 0.1% reflectance value.

16-panel images of all GOES-16 ABI spectral bands at 0630 UTC [click to enlarge]

16-panel images of all GOES-16 ABI spectral bands at 0630 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 brought out of storage

June 21st, 2019 |

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 was taken out of storage on 19 June 2019 to begin a period of Image Navigation and Registration (INR) testing — the Satellite Data Services positioned a spare rooftop antenna to begin ingesting the GVAR data. Visible (0.63 µm) images from 21 June are displayed above.

A 5.5-hour animation of all five spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager is shown below (courtesy of Jim Nelson, CIMSS).

Images from all 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge]

All 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge | MP4]

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (GOES-West), GOES-15, GOES-16 (GOES-East) and GOES-13 (below) — all centered at Glasgow, Montana — showed the development of an anomalously-deep (for 21 June) mid-tropospheric cutoff low over eastern Montana. The images are displayed in the native projection of each satellite.

Water Vapor images from GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-16 and GOES-13, all centered at Glasgow, Montana [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images, from left to right: GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-16 and GOES-13, all centered at Glasgow, Montana [click to play animation | MP4]

Philadelphia Refinery Explosion in CONUS and Mesoscale Sectors

June 21st, 2019 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared imagery (3.9 µm) from the CONUS sector (orange label) and Mesoscale sector (white label) scans over Philadelphia at the nominal time of 0821 UTC on 21 June 2019 (Click to enlarge)

An earth-shaking refinery explosion (News story 1, 2) occurred in Philadelphia, PA under variably cloudy skies on Friday morning 21 June 2019. The toggle above shows GOES-16 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared imagery from the mesoscale sector (with 1-minute imagery) and from the CONUS sector (with 5-minute imagery) at similar nominal times, 0821 UTC. There is a noticeable difference between the character of the signal in the mesoscale sector and the CONUS sector. This chart shows that a CONUS sector scan (shown in Blue at that link for Mode 6A that applies to GOES-16) occurs over a span of time from either 76 seconds to 233 seconds, or from 376 seconds to 533 seconds every 10 minutes (600 seconds). The nominal time of the image will be when the scan starts. Thus, the CONUS time at 08:21 UTC — that shows a very hot spot — is scanning over Philadelphia at some time in the following 2+ minutes after the scan start time (08:21:54). The Meso scale time of 08:21 UTC is scanning Philadelphia at very close to 08:21:05 UTC.

The mesoscale sector from 0820 to 0826 UTC shows no scene quite so hot as the CONUS sector. The warmest brightness temperature from the mesoscale sector, 51.5 C, occurs in the 0823 UTC image. This contrasts with the warmest brightness temperature of 118.2 C in the CONUS sector! This suggests an ephemeral explosion or rapidly-changing cloud cover that frequently masked the view (or both!).  The GOES-16 CONUS sector scanned just at the right time; the Mesoscale sector, even with higher temporal resolution, did not see the worst of the explosion.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared imagery (3.9 µm) from the a Mesoscale sector (white label) over Philadelphia from 0821 to 0826 UTC on 21 June 2019 (Click to enlarge)

Toggles between the CONUS image at 0821 and the mesoscale sectors at 0822 UTC and at 0823 UTC suggest that GOES-16 CONUS sector scanned Philadelphia shortly after 0822 UTC. The shift between the CONUS and mesoscale sectors is in opposite directions at the two times. (Note that Philadelphia County is outlined in both of those linked-to toggles.)

As has been observed with other similar events (for example, here, here and here), a closer look at the area showed that a nighttime thermal signature of the fire was also evident in GOES-16 Near-Infrared 1.61 µm and 2.24 µm imagery (below).

GOES-16 Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

30-second imagery of severe thunderstorms across Nebraska and Kansas

June 8th, 2019 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation | 407 MB animated GIF]

Overlapping 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sectors provided 30-second interval GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) of severe thunderstorms (SPC storm reports) that developed across central Nebraska and northern Kansas along and ahead of an advancing frontal boundary (surface analyses) on 08 June 2019. Robust overshooting tops were very apparent with many of the storms, and a few Above-Anvil Cirrus Plumes were also seen.

The corresponding GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images are shown below. Numerous overshooting tops exhibited infrared brightness temperatures in the -70 to -75ºC range; note the appearance of a wave feature which propagated radially outward from an overshooting top in south-central Nebraska after 0030 UTC.

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation | 159 MB animated GIF]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation | 159 MB animated GIF]