Hurricane Florence off the coast of North Carolina

September 13th, 2018 |

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]

A toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (above) showed Category 2 Hurricane Florence off the coast of North Carolina at 0646 UTC on 13 September 2018. GCOM AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz), Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate (below) indicated that the southern and southeastern portions of the eye and eyewall had become fragmented. (VIIRS and AMSR2 imagery courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS)

GCOM AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz), Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate [click to enlarge]

GCOM AMSR2 Microwave (89 GHz), Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate [click to enlarge]

In a toggle between DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below), microwave imagery revealed the very large internal core of the hurricane at 1216 UTC.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The Metop-A satellite passed over the western edge of Florence, with ASCAT sensing surface winds as high as 66 knots along the western edge of the storm core (below).

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) image at 1427 UTC, with plots of buoy reports and Metop-A ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to enlarge]

Comparisons of Visible and Infrared Window images from Terra MODIS (1538 UTC), NOAA-20 VIIRS (1804 UTC) and Suomi NPP VIIRS (1854 UTC) are shown below.

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images at 1538 UTC [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images at 1538 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1804 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1804 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1854 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1854 UTC [click to enlarge]

As Florence approached the coast, it moved over Gulf Stream waters as warm as 82-85ºF, as seen in a comparison of 12 September MODIS Sea Surface Temperature product and 13 September MODIS Visible images (below).

12 September Terra MODIS Sea Surface Temperature product and 13 September Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image [click to enlarge]

12 September Terra MODIS Sea Surface Temperature product and 13 September Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image [click to enlarge]

The strong winds associated with Florence created large waves which induced upwelling of colder water from below the ocean surface:


Overlapping GOES-16 (GOES-East) Mesoscale Domain Sectors were providing images every 30 seconds; “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) animations are shown below. Note that a secondary eyewall began to form following a convective burst which developed southwest of the eye around 1920 UTC (Visible | Infrared) — and as the new eyewall convection quickly wrapped around to the north, Cape Lookout, North Carolina (Buoy CLKN7) recorded a peak wind speed of 73 knots at 20 UTC and 21 UTC.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

The large pattern of upper-tropospheric outflow was quite apparent on GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm) images (below) — spanning a distance of approximately 1000 miles.

GOES-16 Near-Infrared "Cirrus" (1.37 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Tropical Storm Gordon

September 3rd, 2018 |

NOAA-20 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 at 0636 UTC [click to enlarge]

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 at 0726 UTC [click to enlarge]

Potential Tropical Cyclone 7 was located between the Bahamas and Florida during the pre-sunrise hours on 03 September 2018. Toggles between VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 at 0636 UTC and Suomi NPP at 0726 UTC are shown above (courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS).

The storm became better organized and increased in intensity, and was named Tropical Storm Gordon at 1205 UTC. Animations of GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) (below) showed Gordon as it moved across far southern Florida (where heavy rain and flash flooding occurred) and into the Gulf of Mexico during the daytime hours.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

===== 04 September Update =====

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below) showed a series of widespread deep convective bursts within the northeast quadrant of the storm as it moved northeastward toward the Gulf Coast.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

The GOES-16 Rainfall Rate/QPE product (below) indicated rainfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour were possible from this convection, peaking in the 3-4 inch per hour range just after 1300 UTC. However, Infrared cloud-top brightness temperatures warmed dramatically as the convection moved onshore after about 22 UTC — and the Rain Rate product responded accordingly, with a significant decrease in hourly intensity.

GOES-16 Rain Rate product [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Rain Rate product [click to play MP4 animation]

Metop-A ASCAT surface scatterometer winds of 39 knots were sampled just northeast of the storm center at 1616  UTC (below).

GOES-16 Rain Rate product with Metop ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Rain Rate product with Metop-A ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

Upper-tropospheric gravity waves in the wake of a decaying MCS

September 1st, 2018 |

GOES-16 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A series of large Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCS) developed across Nebraska and Iowa during the nighttime hours before sunrise on 01 September 2018, which produced large hail and damaging winds (SPC storm reports). Storm-scale anticyclonic outflow aloft around the periphery of the decaying convection acted as a short-term barrier to the upstream southwesterly winds within the middle/upper troposphere, creating quasi-stationary gravity waves along their rear (westward) edges which persisted for several hours. These waves were most evident over eastern Nebraska and northeastern Kansas on GOES-16 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images (above).

6.2 µm Water Vapor images with plots of GOES-16 Derived Motion Winds (below) intermittently showed these high-altitude anticyclonic winds along the western edges of decaying convection — for example, at 0842 UTC, 0922 UTC, 0957 UTC, 1127 UTC, 1212 UTC and 1312 UTC.

GOES-16 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images, with plots of Derived Motion Winds [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images, with plots of Derived Motion Winds [click to play MP4 animation]

The quasi-stationary waves appeared to coincide with a few pilot reports of high-altitude turbulence: Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) was mentioned over northeastern Kansas at 37,000 feet and 39,000 feet, and “mountain wave action” was reported over southeastern Nebraska at 43,000 feet.

Pilot reports of turbulence [click to play animation]

Pilot reports of turbulence [click to play animation]

Higher resolution views of the convection were provided by VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP at 0755 UTC and NOAA-20 at 0845 UTC (below). With ample illumination from the Moon (in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 67% of Full), the “visible image at night” capability of the Day/Night Band was well-demonstrated. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature associated with the MCS in western Iowa was -84ºC — and the effect of a similar “blocking wave” along the western/northwestern edge of that storm could be seen, which was effectively eroding the approaching high-altitude anvil cloud material from the Nebraska MCS. Note that the 0845 UTC NOAA-20 VIIRS images are incorrectly labeled as Suomi NPP.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports [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]

Super Typhoon Jebi

August 31st, 2018 |

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

West Pacific Typhoon Jebi underwent a period of very rapid intensification on 30 August 2018 (ADT | SATCON), reaching Category 5 Super Typhoon intensity. Himawari-8 rapid-scan (2.5 minute interval) “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed that Jebi began to exhibit an annular appearance with a nearly symmetric eyewall as it moved through the Northern Mariana Islands (north of Guam). The eye passed just south of the uninhabited volcanic island of Pagan around 16 UTC on 30 August.

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible images (below) revealed mesovortices within the eye of Jebi.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Toggles between VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP (below) showed more detailed views of (1) the well defined eye, (2) surface mesovortices within the eye, and (3) storm-top gravity waves that were propagating away from the eyewall region. With the Moon in the Waning Gibbous phase (at 77% of Full), ample illumination was available to provide detailed “visible images at night” using the VIIRS DNB.

NOAA-20 Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1602 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1602 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1652 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1652 UTC [click to enlarge]

Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate products derived from GCOM-W1 AMSR2 data (below) showed the heavy rainfall occurring within the eyewall region and a primary feeder band to the west. VIIRS and AMSR2 images courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS.

GCOM-W2 AMSR2 Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate products [click to enlarge]

GCOM-W2 AMSR2 Convective Rain Rate and Surface Rain Rate products [click to enlarge]

As Jebi tracked west-northwestward across the West Pacific, products from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site showed that it had been moving over waters having high values of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content (below).

Track of Jebi, with Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

Track of Jebi, with Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

A 48-hour animation of the MIMIC-TC product (below) showed the evolution of the Jebi from 29-31 August. The storm was completing an eyewall replacement cycle near the end of the animation, with the eye becoming distinctly larger.

MIMIC-TC product, 29-31 August

In a comparison of DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images at 1900 UTC (below), the Microwave data helped to better visualize the structure of the large eyewall in addition to a long, narrow feeder band wrapping inward toward the eye.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to enlarge]