GOES-14 SRSO-R: coastal fog/stratus and wildfire activity in the western US

August 17th, 2016

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly surface weather symbols plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly surface weather symbols plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 remained in SRSO-R mode on 17 August 2016, providing imagery at 1-minute intervals over the western US. Some interesting phenomena observed included the evolution of coastal fog/stratus in areas such as Vancouver Island and Washington/Oregon (above; also available as a large 134 Mbyte animated GIF) and also the Bay Area of California (below; also available as a large 202 Mbyte animated GIF). In the example above, note the diurnal ebb and flow of fog/stratus as it first moved westward out of, and then eastward back into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.; in the example below, it is interesting to note that as the majority of the coastal fog/stratus dissipated as morning heating/mixing progressed, but a narrow finger of fog/stratus remained in the Golden Gate and protruded into San Francisco Bay.

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

In Southern California, one of the larger wildfires burning at the time was the Blue Cut Fire northeast of Los Angeles. During the early morning hours, GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below; also available as a large 70 Mbyte animated GIF) revealed the long and narrow smoke plume streaming northeastward; a marked increase in wildfire hot spots (red pixels in the 3.9 µm imagery) was seen after about 17 UTC (10am local time).

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (left) and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (right) images, with hourly plots of surface reports in cyan/yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 0.63 µm Visible (left) and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (right) images, with hourly plots of surface reports in cyan/yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

A closer view of GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images (below; also available as a large 127 Mbyte animated GIF) after 18 UTC (11am local time) showed a more well-defined smoke plume re-develop as the wildfire continued to burn with very little perimeter containment. The smoke plume drifted over Victorville, California (KVCV), where the surface visibility briefly dropped to 7 miles at 22 UTC (surface observation plot).

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with county outlines and 4-character airport identifiers [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with county outlines and 4-character airport identifiers [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 SRSO-R: severe thunderstorms over North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota

August 10th, 2016

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly surface reports and SPC storm reports of hail (yellow) and damaging winds (cyan) [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with hourly surface reports and SPC storm reports of hail (yellow) and damaging winds (cyan) [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute SRSO-R GOES-14 Visible (0.63 µm) images (above; also available as a 265 Mbyte animated GIF) showed the development of severe thunderstorms which produced large hail and damaging winds (SPC storm reports) in southeastern North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and far western Minnesota on 10 August 2016. SPC noted a region of enhanced instability centered over southeastern North Dakota around 16 UTC (MCD); it is interesting to note that an orphan anvil was seen to form around 13 UTC between Valley City (KBAC) and Gwinner (KGWR) — near the northern edge of the pocket of instability — before the main convection began to develop just north of the North Dakota/South Dakota border around 1515 UTC.

GOES-14 is operating in SRSO-R Mode

August 9th, 2016

GOES-14 0.62 µm Visible images from 1230 to 1245 UTC on 9 August 2016 [click to play animation]

GOES-14 0.62 µm Visible images from 1230 to 1245 UTC on 9 August 2016 [click to play animation]

GOES-14 is in SRSO-R mode from today through 25 August, providing 1-minute imagery over western portions of the United States. The geographic footprint for 9 August 2016 is shown above (realtime images), and the 15-minute animation contains 13 images, versus the normal 2 that GOES-East or GOES-West would provide during routine scanning. This one-minute imagery is being provided to help prepare for GOES-R; GOES-R is scheduled to launch on 4 November, and when operational it will routinely provide 1-minute imagery in mesoscale sectors.

Shown below is a comparison of GOES-15 (GOES-West), GOES-14 and GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible images covering the longer 1-hour period of 1230-1330 UTC, focusing on a area of thunderstorms over North Texas. During this time, there are 53 images from GOES-14, compared to 7 images from GOES-15 and 5 images from GOES-13 — note how the evolution of overshooting tops is very easy to follow using the 1-minute GOES-14 imagery.

GOES-15 (left), GOES-14 (center and GOES-13 (right) Visible images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 (left), GOES-14 (center and GOES-13 (right) Visible images [click to play animation]

GOES-14 also monitored the dissipation of fog/low stratus clouds over Nebraska, as seen in the animation below. Additional details can be found here.

GOES-14 Visible (0.62 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.62 µm) images [click to play animation]

Later in the day, the GOES-14 Visible (0.62 µm) animation below (also available as a large 62 Mbyte animated GIF) showed the development of severe thunderstorms in Montana and Wyoming, which produced several reports of damaging winds and large hail (up to 4.0 inches in diameter). This example is particularly noteworthy due to the fact that the storm was well-sampled by satellite imagery in a region of poor radar coverage (h/t to @DanLindsey77). For additional details on this case, see the VISIT Meteorological Interpretation Blog.

GOES-14 Visible (0.62 µm) images, with surface reports and SPC storm reports of hail (yellow) and wind (cyan) [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-14 Visible (0.62 µm) images, with surface reports and SPC storm reports of hail (yellow) and wind (cyan) [click to play MP4 animation]

A 3-panel comparison of Visible images from GOES-15 and GOES-13 (available at the routine 15-30 minute interval) and GOES-14 (available at 1-minute intervals) is shown below.

GOES-13 (left), GOES-14 (center) and GOES-13 (right) 0.62 um Visible images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-13 (left), GOES-14 (center) and GOES-13 (right) 0.62 um Visible images [click to play MP4 animation]

During the early afternoon hours, the GOES-15 (GOES-West) satellite performed a “North/South Station Keeping maneuver”, during which there was no imaging between 1700-1900 UTC. To help cover for this outage, the GOES-13 (GOES-East) satellite was paced into Full Disk scan mode, which provided only 1 image every 30 minutes. During this time period, the 1-minute imagery from GOES-14 (shown below) was essential to monitor such features as a wildfire burning southeast of Ely, Nevada (station identifier KELY). Two apparent flare-ups of the fire were seen in the areal coverage of the hottest pixels (red) on GOES-14 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images at 1805 UTC and 1807 UTC, which were not captured by the 30-minute GOES-13 imagery. In fact, the 1745 UTC GOES-13 Shortwave Infrared image suggested that there was a brief reduction in the intensity of the fire (indicated by a lack of red pixels), which was not the case according to the 1-minute GOES-14 imagery.

GOES-15 (left panels), GOES-14 (center panels) and GOES-13 (right panels) 0.62 m Visible and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 (left panels), GOES-14 (center panels) and GOES-13 (right panels) 0.62 m Visible (top) and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (bottom) images [click to play animation]

Transverse banding: a signature of potential turbulence

July 20th, 2016

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 um) images, pilot reports of turbulence, Turbulence AIRMET boundaries [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 um) images, pilot reports of turbulence, Turbulence AIRMET boundaries [click to play animation]

GOES-13 (GOES-East) Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (above) showed the formation of tendrils of transverse banding along the northern semicircle of  decaying mesoscale convective systems as they moved eastward across Nebraska and Iowa on 19 July 2016. Pilot reports of turbulence are plotted on the images, along with Turbulence AIRMET polygons issued at 0800 UTC and 1400 UTC. Most of the pilot reports of turbulence were in the Light to Moderate category, although there was one report of Moderate to Severe intensity at 1612 UTC over eastern Iowa.

The corresponding GOES-13 Water Vapor (6.5 µm) images (below) perhaps highlighted the transverse banding features a bit better at times, since the weighting function for that spectral band generally peaks in the middle to upper troposphere where the transverse banding cloud features existed.

GOES-13 Water Vapor (6.5 um) images, pilot reports of turbulence, Turbulence AIRMET boundaries [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Water Vapor (6.5 um) images, pilot reports of turbulence, Turbulence AIRMET boundaries [click to play animation]

A sequence of Infrared Window images from POES AVHRR (10.8 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS (11.45 µm) (below) showed a higher-resolution view of the initial formation of transverse banding during the 0411 to 1008 UTC time period.

Infrared Window images from POES AVHRR (10.8 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS (11.45 µm) [click to enlarge]

Infrared Window images from POES AVHRR (10.8 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS (11.45 µm) [click to enlarge]

Shown below are two other types of satellite imagery that can be helpful for identifying the areal extent of transverse banding cloud features: the Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm), and the MODIS Cirrus band (1.37 µm). A similar Cirrus band will be part of the ABI instrument on GOES-R.

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

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

Terra MODIS Infrared Window (11.0 µm) and Cirrus (1.37 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Infrared Window (11.0 µm) and Cirrus (1.37 µm) images [click to enlarge]