A thunderstorm produced golf-ball-size hail that reportedly lasted up to 30 minutes at Kandahar, Afghanistan on 23 April 2013. This hail was responsible for 3 fatalities, and damaged dozens of US and British military helicopters and aircraft stationed at Kandahar International Airport. McIDAS images of EUMETSAT Meteosat-7 0.7 µm visible channel images (above; click image to play animation) and 11.5 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) showed the rapid development of the relatively compact thunderstorm as it passed over Kandahar International Airport (denoted by the “*” symbol). Shadow-casting overshooting tops were evident on the visible imagery, and the cloud-top IR brightness temperature cooled to -66 C (dark red color enhancement) at 08:30 UTC.
In honor of Earth Day, we offer a glimpse of the cloud cover across the planet, using a rotating global composite of geostationary IR images (data from the GOES-East, GOES-West, Meteosat, and MTSAT satellites) at 12:00 UTC on 22 April 2013 (above; click image to play animation). The most recent rotating global IR composite (updated every 3 hours) can be seen here.
Other global satellite image composites created at SSEC include IR, surface air temperature, and sea surface temperature (above; click image for most recent animation) and water vapor channel imagery (below; click image for most recent animation).
The 12-14 March 1993 “Storm of the Century” (aka “the ’93 Superstorm” or “the Great Blizzard of 1993″) was one of the most significant storms to impact the eastern United States. McIDAS images of EUMETSAT Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (above; click image to play animation) showed the storm as it initially began to experience rapid intensification in the Gulf of Mexico on 12 March. At the time, Meteosat-3 was on loan to the US and serving as the “GOES-East” satellite after the failure of GOES-6 in 1989.
On the following day (March 13), a larger-scale view of Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) revealed the very large size of the storm as it moved along the Eastern Seaboard of the US. Some highlights of the storm included snowfall amounts as high as 56 inches at Mount LeConte in Tennessee, a wind gust to 144 mph at Mount Washington in New Hampshire, a minimum sea level pressure of 28.28 inches at White Plains in New York, and a post-storm record low temperature of -12º F in Burlington, Vermont.
The correspnding large-scale view of Meteosat-3 6.4 µm water vapor channel images (below; click image to play animation) showed the well-defined dry slot and large comma head associated with the storm.
A 0.65 µm GOES-7 visible channel image at 18:01 UTC or 1:01 PM Eastern Time on 13 March (below) showed several interested aspects of the storm, including widespread stratucumulus cloud streets over the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean (due to cold air advection over warmer waters), and also a large cloud arc in the Pacific Ocean south of Mexico, which was the leading edge of a Tehuano mountain gap wind event (see Schultz, et al, 1997). A rope cloud marked the leading edge of the strong cold front, which at the time of the image had plunged as far southward as Honduras in Central America.