Large MCS affects Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri

June 17th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports [click to play MP4 animation]

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

A large Mesoscale Convective System (MCS)  developed over eastern Nebraska late in the day on 16 June 2017, which continued  to grow in size as it  propagated southeastward  and produced severe weather across western Iowa, northeastern Kansas  and northwestern Missouri during  the subsequent overnight hours (SPC storm reports). GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) include plots of time-matched  SPC storm reports;  the report locations are parallax-corrected to match those of the cloud tops. The strong winds downed  numerous trees and power lines;  Kansas City Power & Light reported  that as many as 93,000 customers — more than 10 percent — were without power within the utility’s service area (which covers 46 counties in Kansas and Missouri).

In a comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at  0721 UTC or 2:21 am local time on 17 June (below), the Day/Night Band image showed a bright cluster of lightning streaks (cloud tops illuminated by intense lightning activity) straddling the Kansas/Missouri border. Note how the city lights of the Kansas City area were almost completely attenuated by the dense and vertically thick MCS core, while a diffuse signature of city lights was seen through the thin cirrus canopy around the edges of the storm. Packets of cloud-top gravity waves evident on both images, and the coldest cloud-top Infrared brightness temperatures were -85º  C (darker violet color enhancement), located in both Kansas and Missouri.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11..45 µm) images, with cumulative 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 cumulative plots of SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

Rapid convective development over Illinois and Wisconsin

June 14th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with station identifiers plotted in white and SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with station identifiers plotted in white and SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

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

1-minute interval Mesoscale Sector GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the rapid development of convection across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin on 14 June 2017. SPC storm reports indicated that these storms produced widespread hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes.

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

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

Closer views centered along the Wisconsin/Illinois border with Visible (0.64 µm) imagery (above) showed the overshooting tops associated with these thunderstorms, while the Snow/Ice (1.61 µm) imagery (below) helped to discriminate between higher-altitude glaciated cloud tops (darker gray) and lower-level cloud tops composed of supercooled water droplets (brighter white).

GOES-16 Snow/Ice (1.61 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Snow/Ice (1.61 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

The animation of Visible and color-enhanced Infrared imagery at the top of this blog post shows pockets of very cold cloud top temperatures within the cirrus canopy above the developing convection. These generally indicate overshooting tops, at the top of very strong updrafts. In contrast, the Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) animation, below, shows relatively warm pixels that are darker in the grey-scale enhancement in about the same region. Why the difference? Ice crystals that emerge from the top of a strong updraft are very effective reflectors of solar radiation at a wavelength of 3.9 µm. The satellite detects both terrestrial 3.9 µm energy emitted from the cold cloud top and solar 3.9 µm energy reflected off the cloud top. The amount detected will be largest (and a warmer temperature is inferred) where ice crystals are smallest and most reflective: at the top of very strong updrafts. Very little solar 10.3 µm radiation is reflected off clouds.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.90 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.90 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

All 16 bands on ABI can be used to monitor the development of the strong convection — in the case shown below over west-central Illinois for one hour, from 1900-2000 UTC. Click here for a very zoomed-in animation over one cell!

GOES-16 ABI for all 16 channels, 1900-1959 UTC on 14 June 2017 [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 ABI images from all 16 bands, 1900-1959 UTC on 14 June 2017 [click to play MP4 animation]

Long-lived MCS tracks across South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin

June 11th, 2017 |

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

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

A large Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) developed and intensified over western South Dakota during the nighttime hours of 10 June11 June 2017, evolving into a bow echo that spread a swath of hail and strong winds from central/eastern South Dakota across Minnesota and into Wisconsin and Michigan (SPC storm reports: 10 June | 11 June). Image toggles between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) at 0734 UTC or 2:34 am Central Time (above) and 0916 UTC or 4:16 am Central Time (below) showed numerous well-defined overshooting tops and cloud-top gravity waves over South Dakota. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature on the 0916 UTC image was -88º C (dark violet color enhancement). Since the Moon was in the Waning Gibbous phase (at 97% of Full), its ample illumination provided vivid examples of the “visible image at night” capability of the Day/Night Band; several bright white “lightning streaks” were also evident, a signature of cloud top illumination by intense lightning activity.

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

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

During the subsequent daytime hours of 11 June, GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below) showed the eastward  progression of the MCS across Minnesota into western Wisconsin.

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom), with SPC storm reports of hail and wind plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom), with SPC storm reports of hail and wind plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

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

 

High wind event in Moscow, Russia

May 29th, 2017 |

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.8 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm, right) images [click to play animation]

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.8 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm, right) images [click to play animation]

High winds associated with a strong cold frontal passage were responsible for 16 fatalities and 168 injuries in Moscow, Russia on 29 May 2017 (CNN | BBC). EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 High Resolution Visible (0.8 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (above; MP4 ) showed the cluster of thunderstorms that moved through the region. Plotted in yellow are 4-letter station identifiers of the three principal Moscow airports (UUEE, UUWW and UUDD). The cloud-top Infrared brightness temperatures of the thunderstorm cluster exhibited a distinct bowing structure on Infrared imagery around the time of the highest winds (1230 UTC).

On the corresponding Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) images (below; MP4), the well-defined signature of a middle-tropospheric vorticity center could be seen.

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) images [click to play animation]

Meteosat-10 Water Vapor (6.25 µm) images [click to play animation]

Time series plots of surface observations from the 3 major Moscow airports (below) showed that Sheremetyevo International Airport (UUEE) recorded a wind gust of 54 knots (62 mph) at 1230 UTC — also note the sharp drop in air temperature as the cold front passed.

Time series of surface observations at Sheremetyevo International Airport UUEE [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observations at Sheremetyevo International Airport UUEE [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observations at Vnukovo International Airport UUWW [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observations at Vnukovo International Airport UUWW [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observations at Domodedovo International Airport UUDD [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observations at Domodedovo International Airport UUDD [click to enlarge]