February 5th, 2014
Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)
McIDAS images of EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the cloud structure associated with a powerful midlatitude cyclone that was moving northeastward toward the British Isles on 04 February 2014. This storm — the latest in a series of intense North Atlantic Ocean storms to batter the region during the winter of 2013/2014 — produced very strong winds (gusting to 92 mph on the Isle of Scilly), heavy rain, and flooding; power was cut to over 40,000 customers, and rail service was disrupted.
The evolution of the storm could be seen on hourly composites of geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite water vapor channel imagery covering the 03-05 February period (below), visualized using the SSEC RealEarth web map server. As the large storm began to dissipate, another system could be seen developing upstream over the North Atlantic Ocean. Also of note are the subtle wave structures that could be seen in the water vapor imagery downwind of the Azores, caused by strong winds interacting with the high terrain of the islands (the tallest point is Pico, at 2,351 meters or 7,713 ft).
Composite of water vapor channel imagery (click to play animation)
January 21st, 2014
MTSAT-2 0.675 µm visible channel and 10.8 µm IR channel images (click to play animation)
McIDAS images of MTSAT-2 daytime 0.675 µm visible channel data and night-time 10.8 µm IR channel data (above; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 animation) showed a monsoon low which exhibited a well-defined circulation for several days as it slowly tracked southwestward across the northwestern portion of Australia during the 15-21 January 2014 time period.
The mean seal level pressure analyses from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (below; click image to play animation) indicated that the monsoon low deepened to a pressure of 988 hPa at 12 UTC on 19 January.
Mean sea level pressure analyses (click image to play animation)
MTSAT-2 visible images and surface observations during the 17-18 January period are shown below (click image to play animation), visualized using the SSEC RealEarth web map server.
MTSAT-2 0.675 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)
January 16th, 2014
MTSAT-2 0.68 µm visible channel (left) and 3.75 µm shortwave IR (right) images [click to play animation]
An extended period of hot, dry weather led to the development of multiple large bushfires across parts of southeastern Australia, some of which began to produce pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) clouds during the 15-16 January 2014 period. McIDAS images of MTSAT-2 0.68 µm visible channel and 3.75 µm shortwave IR channel data (above; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 animation)
showed the development of a well-defined pyroCb associated with the Northern Grampions fire in the state of Victoria. After the visible images on the left panels faded to black during the night-time hours, the shortwave IR images on the right panels showed that many of the fire “hot spots” (denoted by the darker black pixels) continued to grow during the night.
MTSAT-2 10.8 µm longwave IR channel images (below; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 animation) indicated that cloud-top IR brightness temperatures associated with the rapidly-growing pyroCb cloud became as cold as -38.7º C (lighter green color enhancement) at 07:32 UTC. Other areas of cold-topped thunderstorms developed near the coast, likely initiated by sea breeze and/or local terrain influences. Surface reports ploted on the IR images revealed very hot temperatures: for example, it was 109º F (42.8º C) at Melbourne Essondon (station identifier YMEN) at 04 UTC.
MTSAT-2 10.8 µm longwave IR images [click to play animation]
A larger-scale view of MTSAT-2 0.68 µm visible channel images (below, visualized using the SSEC RealEarth web map server) showed that there were some large bushfires to the northwest that were producing long, dense smoke plumes which were drifting southward off the coast.
MTSAT-2 0.68 µm visible channel images [click to play animation]
January 11th, 2014
Global IR image composite
Looking at a global composite of IR imagery from the SSEC RealEarth web map server (above), Cyclone Ian (07 P) in the South Pacific Ocean was a rather compact storm — however, a time series plot of the Advanced Dvorak Technique (below) showed that Cyclone Ian experienced a period of rapid intensification to Category 4 strength on 10 January 2014 (21 UTC Joint Typhoon Warning Center advisory).
Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) plot for Cyclone Ian
IR images of Cyclone Ian (click to play animation)
SSEC RealEarth IR imagery (above; click image to play animation) and visible imagery (below; click image to play animation) showed the well-defined eye that was exhibited by Cyclone Ian during this period of rapid intensification on 10 January, as the storm moved slowly south-southeastward across the island nation of Tonga.
Visible images of Cyclone Ian (click to play animation)
On 11 January, water vapor channel imagery from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed the continuation of the impressive channel of poleward outflow from Cyclone Ian, which was enhanced by the presence of a mid-latitude trough passing to the south of the tropical cyclone.
Water vapor channel imagery