Using GOES-16 Baseline Products to anticipate where heavy rain might fall

July 10th, 2017 |

GOES-16 10.3 µm “Clean Window” Superimposed on the Clear-Sky Baseline Total Precipitable Water Product, 0107 – 1337 UTC on 10 July (Click to play large animated gif)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

Very heavy rain (4-5″) fell over parts of southwestern Wisconsin early on 10 July 2017 as a Mesoscale Convective System traversed the Upper Midwest (0831 UTC VIIRS Infrared vs Day/Night Band). The animation above blends the Clean Window (10.3 µm) from GOES-16 with the Total Precipitable Water Baseline Product (This product is available online — with a time delay — here). Note that the largest values of Precipitable Water are diagnosed to be over southern and western of Wisconsin. Looking at the animation of the 10.3 µm imagery, can you decide where the heaviest rain fell?

A screen capture from this website, below, shows 24-hour precipitation over the Upper Midwest, with a northwest-to-southeast oriented maximum near the northwest-to-southeast gradient of diagnosed total precipitable water field shown in the animation above. (This summary from the National Weather Service in Milwaukee shows accumulated precipitation ending at 0900 Central Time).

The Hazardous Weather Testbed at the Storm Prediction Center evaluates GOES-16 (and other satellites, such as Suomi NPP) products. There have been many instances that noted convection was most intense along the gradient of the moisture (See this summary, for example, or this one.) When GOES-16 Baseline Products indicate a gradient, pay close attention when strong convection develops upstream.

24-hour Precipitation over the Upper Midwest ending at 1200 UTC on 10 July 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Added: One day later, again, convection initiated (and/or persisted) north of the diagnosed Total Precipitable Water maximum over Illinois and Iowa (link), i.e., in the gradient of Total Precipitable Water.

Severe thunderstorms in the Northeast US

July 1st, 2017 |

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing *

As noted in the Tweet above from NWS Gray/Portland ME, a record number of tornado warnings were issued by that office on 01 July 2017. According to their damage surveys, the tornadoes were rated EF-0 to EF-1, with some straight-line wind damage also seen. GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images with plots of SPC storm reports (below; also available as a 98-Mbyte animated GIF) displayed the overshooting tops and colder cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures associated with some of the thunderstorms. Note the significant offset between cloud-top features and storm reports — this is due to parallax from the large viewing angle of the GOES-16 satellite (which is positioned over the Equator at 105º West longitude).

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with plots of SPC storm reports in red on Visible, and in black on Infrared [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with plots of SPC storm reports in red on Visible, and in black on Infrared [click to play MP4 animation]

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1744 UTC (below) showed the early stages of convective development in far southwestern Maine, in addition to well-developed thunderstorms in eastern New York (which would later move northeastward to produce a swath of heavy rainfall that caused flooding at some locations).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11..45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11..45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Thunderstorm development was fueled by high amounts of moisture that had moved into the Northeast US, as shown below by the Blended Total Precipitable Water product (values in the 40-50 mm or 1.6-2.0 inch range) and the Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product (with values in excess of 200%).

Blended Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

Blended Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product [click to enlarge]

Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product [click to enlarge]

The hourly evolution of moisture was depicted by the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (below).

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product [click to play animation]

Tropical Storm Cindy

June 24th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface//ship/buoy reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface//ship/buoy reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

** GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing **

As Tropical  Storm Bret was forming off the coast of South America, Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 (PTC3) was becoming more organized as it moved from the western Caribbean Sea across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and into the Gulf of Mexico on 19 June 2017 (MIMIC TPW). On 20 June, one of the GOES-16 Mesoscale Sectors was positioned  over PTC3 and  provided 1-minute imagery — Visible  (0.64 µm)  and  Infrared Window (10.3  µm) images (above) showed deep convective bursts moving northward to reveal an exposed Low Level Circulation Center (LLCC).

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

Early in the day on 21 June, 1-minute GOES-16 Visible and Infrared Window images (above) showed multiple LLCC features associated with PTC3, with deep convection remaining well to the north/northwest. In addition, Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9  µm) images (below) indicated that a large amount of dry air had wrapped into the southern and eastern portions of the storm circulation.

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Water Vapor (6..9 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Water Vapor (6..9 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

However, by mid-day a more consolidated central circulation had developed, as seen on Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) — and PTC3 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Cindy.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with surface pressure plotted in yellow and station identifiers plotted in cyan [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with surface pressure plotted in yellow and station identifiers plotted in cyan [click to enlarge]

Hourly images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product covering the 19-24 June period (below) showed  the northward transport of rich tropical moisture into the Gulf  Coast states, which then moved northeastward toward the Northeast US bringing heavy rainfall and flooding to many locations (WPC storm summary).

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water [click to play animation]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water [click to play animation]

Maps of daily rainfall during the 21-24 June period (along with 7-day rainfall totals, departure from normal and percent of normal) are shown below.

21-24 June daily precipitation, along with 7-day Precipitation Total, 7-day Departure from Normal and 7-day Percent of Normal [click to enlarge]

21-24 June daily precipitation, along with 7-day Precipitation Total, 7-day Departure from Normal and 7-day Percent of Normal [click to enlarge]

Using GOES-16 visible and near-infrared imagery to diagnose areas of flooding

April 6th, 2017 |

Flood Warnings (green) in effect at 7:43 pm CDT on 06 April 2017 [click to enlarge]

Flood Warnings (green) in effect at 7:43 pm CDT on 06 April 2017 [click to enlarge]

** The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing. **

Following several days of heavy rainfall across northwestern Missouri, Flood Warnings remained in effect for many areas on 06 April 2017 (above).

A comparison of GOES-16 Visible (0.47 µm and 0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared (0.86 µm and 1.61 µm) images at 1507 UTC (below) shows that the Vegetation and Snow/Ice spectral bands are useful for identifying areas of swollen rivers and adjacent flooded lands (since water appears darker on those 2 images).

GOES-16 Visible (0.47 µm and 0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared (0.86 µµ and 1.61 µm) images [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Visible (0.47 µm and 0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared (0.86 µµ and 1.61 µm) images [click to enlarge]