Occluded cyclone in southern Canada

July 15th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, upper left), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm, upper right), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm, lower left) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm, lower right) images [click to play animation]

A 4-panel comparison of GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images (above) showed a large occluded cyclone (surface analyses) over northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba on 15 July 2018. In the cold sector of the storm, morning temperatures were confined to the 40s F — especially at Churchill, Manitoba where strong easterly winds were blowing off Hudson Bay.

A closer examination of the GOES-16 images (below) revealed the presence of waves over southwestern Manitoba on the Water Vapor imagery — these appeared to vertically-propagating waves which formed due to the interaction of strong boundary layer winds with the topography of that area (some land features rise to 2600 feet). These waves then began breaking and propagating slowly westward late in the animation.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm, upper left), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm, upper right), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm, lower left) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm, lower right) images [click to play animation]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, upper left), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm, upper right), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm, lower left) and Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm, lower right) images [click to play animation]

A NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) image (below) showed numerous smoke plumes from wildfires in southeastern Manitoba and western Ontario, as well as the light cyan color of ice in central and eastern portion of Hudson Bay (ice analysis: northern | southern).

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Hurricane Chris accelerates away from the United States

July 11th, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Band 2 (“Red Visible”) Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery, 1852-2117 UTC on 11 July 2018 (Click to animate)

Hurricane Chris is accelerating away from the United States (although it will likely pass very close to Cape Race, Newfoundland Canada). Visible Imagery (GOES-16 ABI Band 2, “Red Visible”, at 0.64 µm), above, from late afternoon on 11 July shows a well-developed storm with a pronounced eye.

Before Sunrise on 11 July 2018, both NOAA-20 and JAXA’s Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM) Satellite overflew the storm at slightly different times.  The VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument NOAA-20 samples in the visible and infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum whereas the AMSR2 Instrument (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2) on GCOM samples in the microwave.  Because microwave energy can penetrate clouds, it can be used to estimate rainfall, and the toggle below steps through the Infrared (11.45 µm) and Day Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) from VIIRS (at 0645 UTC) as well as the Convective Precipitation and Surface Rain rate from AMSR2 (at 0618 UTC). 

Lunar illumination is absent  in the Day Night band visible imagery, but Earth glow nevertheless illuminates the eye of the storm;  in addition, two lightning streaks are visible north and east of the center.  Surface Rain and Convective Rain rates show the heaviest rains near the storm center, as expected (NOAA-20 VIIRS and GCOM AMSR2 imagery courtesy William Straka, CIMSS).

VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) and Visible (0.70 µm) Day Night Band Visible Imagery, 0645 UTC on 11 July 2018, and GCOM AMSR2 Convective Precipitation and Surface Rain Rate estimates at 0618 UTC on 11 July (Click to enlarge)

Hurricane Chris

July 10th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed Chris as it rapidly intensified (ADT | SATCON) to a Category 1 Hurricane by 2100 UTC (NHC discussion) on 10 July 2018.

A toggle between 375-meter resolution NOAA-20 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) revealed cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -81ºC (violet enhancement) in a convective burst just northeast of the eye. [Note: the 1821 UTC NOAA-20 images are incorrectly labeled as Suomi NPP images]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Earlier in the day, a GPM satellite GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed that Tropical Storm Chris had not yet formed a closed eye at 1326 UTC.

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image [click to enlarge]

However, a MIMIC-TC animation spanning the 0000 to 1925 UTC time period (below) showed the eye formation process completing as the estimated maximum speed (Vmax) increased from 60 to 75 knots.

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave image product [click to enlarge]

MIMIC-TC morphed microwave image product [click to enlarge]

Severe thunderstorms in North Dakota and South Dakota

July 4th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in blue [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the merger of two Mesoscale Convective Systems over North Dakota and South Dakota during the nighttime (pre-sunrise) hours on 04 July 2018. In addition to hail of 1.00-2.00 inches in diameter, these thunderstorms produced widespread damaging winds up to 95 mph in north-central South Dakota (SPC storm reports).

Nighttime comparisons of VIIRS instrument Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) imagery from the Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 satellites are shown below (courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS). With illumination from the Moon (which was in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 68% of Full), the “visible image at night” capability of the Day/Night Band was demonstrated; numerous bright lighting streaks could also be seen, with many in the vicinity of the cold overshooting tops that were evident on Infrared imagery. The Infrared images also revealed cloud-top gravity waves which were propagating radially outward away from the primary clusters of cold overshooting tops.

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

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

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]