Hurricane Irma moves along the north coast of Cuba

September 9th, 2017 |

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Infrared Imagery (10.3 µm) from 0357 to 1202 UTC on 9 September 2017 (Click to animate)

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

Hurricane Irma hit Cuba as a category 5 Storm late on 8 September 2017. The animation above shows the storm paralleling the north coast of Cuba; outer rainbands are moving into southern Florida. Irma is forecast to turn northwest and north during the day on 9 September, and then move up along the Gulf Coast of Florida, threatening the entire Florida Peninsula with Hurricane-force winds. Irma’s prolonged proximity to the Cuban landmass has affected the storm’s structure and its satellite presentation.  (Compare this animation above to one from 8 September in this blog post). The microwave animation, below, (source) suggests that the disruption to the storm might include the eyewall, and the central pressure of the storm has increased.

Morphed Microwave Imagery of Irma for the 24 hours ending around 0900 UTC on 9 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

 

850-250 hPa Wind Shear over Irma, 0900 UTC on 9 September (Click to enlarge)

Wind shear in the atmosphere, shown above as 850-250 mb wind shear (Source), remains very low over the storm.   Shear will increase over the storm during the day however as it moves north.  This could slow any intensification that might occur as the storm moves over the very warm waters of the Florida Straits and eastern Gulf of Mexico, where Sea-Surface Temperatures are 30-32 C.

The latest Geostationary Lightning Mapper data over the storm (from this source) as the sun rises, shows little lightning over the center of Irma.

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery at 15-minute intervals underneath plots of GLM Group Activity in 3-minute intervals, 0945-1200 UTC9 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

William Straka, CIMSS, provided the Suomi NPP Visible (from the Day Night Band) and Infrared Imagery below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) from 0619 UTC on 9 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Imagery (11.45 µm) from 0619 UTC on 9 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

A zoomed-in, annotated view of the eye is below. (Click here for an image with no labels)

Annotated Suomi NPP VIIRS Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) from 0619 UTC on 9 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

For further information on this dangerous storm, consult the National Hurricane Center, or the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Hurricane Irma north of Hispaniola

September 7th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Low-Level Water Vapor Infrared (7.34 µm) Imagery, 0737 – 1232 UTC on 7 September 2017 (Click to animate)

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

GOES-16 Captured very strong Hurricane Irma, north of Hispaniola, early on the day on 7 September. The 7.34 µm channel shown is sensitive to water vapor, that is, water vapor in the atmosphere absorbs energy at 7.34 µm. The animation shows the storm moving steadily to the west-northwest. A far less-organized Hurricane Katia is over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, with a strong jet extending from Katia northeastward along the east coast. A short animation of Visible Imagery with Geostationary Lightning Mapper data, below, from 1015-1230 UTC, shows considerable lightning activity continuing in the eye of the storm and in some of the convective bands that surround it.

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery at 15-minute intervals underneath plots of GLM Group Activity in 3-minute intervals, 1015-1230 UTC 7 September 2017 (Click to animate)

Suomi NPP overflew Irma at about 1800 UTC on 7 September. Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery from the VIIRS Instrument on Suomi NPP is below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) imagery, 1808 UTC on 7 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery, 1808 UTC on 7 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Hurricane Irma over the British Virgin Islands

September 6th, 2017 |

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible Imagery (0.64 µm) at 1646 UTC on 6 September 2017, with and without annotation (Click to enlarge)

 

Suomi NPP overflew Irma as the storm moved through the British Virgin Islands. The toggle above shows the 0.64 µm Visible Image of the storm at that time, with and without annotations.  An infrared view from VIIRS, at 11.45 µm is shown below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Imagery (11.45 µm) at 1646 UTC on 6 September 2017, with and without annotation (Click to enlarge)

(Imagery courtesy Will Straka, CIMSS)

Widespread Smoke in the Pacific Northwest

September 6th, 2017 |

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

Dry weather over the Pacific Northwest (and over Idaho and Montana) has created an ideal environment lately for wildfires, and much of the region is shrouded in smoke from those fires as shown in the Suomi NPP True Color Imagery, above, from this site.  Note the red points that are Suomi-NPP-detected fires; they persist from day to day, and some grow in size during the course of the animation. GOES-16 Animations of True Color (in this case, the CIMSS Natural True Color product that is created using Bands 1, 2 and 3 (0.47 µm, 0.64 µm and 0.86 µm, respectively)), below, (also available here; a similar product from CIRA is available here), show the pall of smoke as well. Air Quality Alerts from the National Weather Service were widespread on 6 September.

CIMSS Natural True Color, every 15 minutes, from 1400-2130 UTC on 6 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 has multiple channels and products that can view both the Smoke and the Fires that produce the smoke. In addition to the visible imagery, Fire Products, below, can characterize the Temperature, Power (in megawatts) and area (in square meters) of the fire detected by GOES-16.  On this day, clouds over the fires in Oregon mean that satellite detection is challenged, even though the by-product, smoke, is apparent.  Fires over Idaho are readily apparent however.  These fires were also detected by the 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared channel on GOES-16, the traditional fire-detection channel (used in concert with 10.3 µm, the clean window channel).  Imagery at 1.6 µm and 2.2 µm imagery can also be used to highlight hot fires;  that will be the subject of a future blog post.

GOES-16 Fire Products: Fire Temperature, Fire Power and Fire Area, 2037 UTC on 6 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

 

The mp4 animation, below, shows CIMSS Natural True Color over the Full Disk on 5 September 2017.  The Full Disk View allows a better visualization of how the smoke is moving (and underscores how widespread it is) — and it shows Hurricane Irma as well.

CIMSS Natural True Color, every 15 minutes, on 5 September 2017 (Click to animate)

 

NOAA creates many Smoke-related products, some of which are easily accessible at this link.