Widespread power outage in Puerto Rico

September 23rd, 2016

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images: cloud-free "clear view" (31 Dec 2015) vs 22 September and 23 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images: cloud-free “clear view” (31 Dec 2015) vs 22 September and 23 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

A fire at the Aguirre power plant in Salinas (located along the southern coast of Puerto Rico) on 21 September 2016 triggered a widespread power outage across the island. A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 um) images of Puerto Rico on a cloud-free “clear view” night (31 December 2015) and the 2 nights following the power outage (22 and 23 September) is shown above (visualized using RealEarth); the nighttime glow of city lights is dramatically reduced on the 22 September image, while some restoration of power to much of the island — reportedly 75% — is apparent on the 23 September image.  Additional details and images can be found on the NASA Earth Observatory site.

Super Typhoon Meranti

September 12th, 2016

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Rapid-scan (2.5-minute interval) Himawari-8 AHI Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above; also avialable as a 33 Mbyte animated GIF) showed the pin-hole eye and cold cloud-top IR brightness temperatures (-80º C and colder, violet color enhancement) associated with Super Typhoon Meranti (16W) in the Philippine Sea on 11-12 September 2016. Note that the ABI instrument on GOES-R will provide similar 0.5-km resolution Visible and 2-km resolution Infrared imagery.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1230 UTC on 12 September, with 11 September images of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1230 UTC on 12 September, with 11 September images of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content [click to enlarge]

As Meranti was intensifying from a Category 4 to a Category 5 storm, it was passing over waters that exhibited both warm Sea Surface Temperatures and high Ocean Heat Content as seen on images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above), and was also moving through an environment of very low deep-layer wind shear (below) — all factors that are favorable for tropical cyclone intensification.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with satellite-derived 850-200 hPa deep layer wind shear [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with satellite-derived 850-200 hPa deep layer wind shear [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below; also available as an 89 Mbyte animated GIF) showed Meranti as a Category 5 storm during the nighttime hours on 12 September.

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

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

A comparison of a Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) image at 1830 UTC and a DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1847 UTC (below) again displayed the very small eye.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and DMSP-15 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) images [click to enlarge]

During the subsequent daytime hours (local time) on 12 September, another comparison of rapid-scan (2.5-minute interval) Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (below; also available as a 24 Mbyte animated GIF) continued to show a well-defined eye as Meranti maintained Category 5 intensity (ADT plot). Mesovortices could be seen spinning within the eye on the visible imagery during this time.

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 10.4 µm Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

===== 13 September Update =====

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

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

Super Typhoon Meranti went through a secondary round of intensification on 13 September (ADT plot) , with the JTWC estimating maximum sustained winds of 165 knots with gusts to 200 knots at 21 UTC. CIMSS Satellite Consensus (SATCON) plots of wind and pressure indicated that Meranti reached peak intensity near the middle of the day. Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above; also available as a 114 Mbyte animated GIF) continued to display a well-defined eye with an annular storm structure during this period. A faster version of the animated GIF better showed the pronounced trochoidal motion exhibited by the eye of Meranti, as it moved just south of the island of Taiwan.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The eye of Meranti passed directly over the small Philippine island of Itbayat, as seen on Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images viewed using RealEarth (above).

Suomi NPP overflew Meranti around 1730 UTC, just as the eye of the storm was passing over Itbayat. In a toggle between VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images (below; courtesy of William Straka, SSEC) ample lunar illumination provided a very good “visible image at night” which also included a bright lightning streak emanating from the eastern eyewall of the Category 5 storm. The image pair also shows a good example of the “stadium effect” eye geometry (where the eye diameter at the surface is smaller, and opens to a wider distance with increasing height). A larger-scale view of the entire storm from the Day/Night Band is available here; the corresponding 11.45 µm Infrared image is available here.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) imagery of Meranti, 1735 UTC on 13 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Day/Night Band visible (0.70 µm) imagery of Meranti, 1735 UTC on 13 September 2016 [click to enlarge]

DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]


DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of DMSP-15 SSMI Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images around 1830 UTC (above), the appearance of concentric eyewalls on the microwave data suggested that Meranti was preparing to go through an eyewalll replacement cycle, which also signaled that the storm was perhaps near maximum intensity.

This formation of concentric eyewalls was nicely depicted by the MIMIC-TC product (below).

MIMIC-TC product [click to play animation]

MIMIC-TC product [click to play animation]

=====14 September Update =====

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]


Less than 2 hours prior to landfall (which was around 1905 UTC on 14 September, over Xiamen City in the Fujian Province of China), a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1716 UTC (above) still showed well-defined curved banding structures around the center of of the Category 2 typhoon.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images from pre-landfall at 0600 UTC on 14 September to post-landfall at 0600 UTC on 15 September (below; also available as a 47 Mbyte animated GIF) showed that Meranti quickly dissipated as it moved inland over mainland China. The images are centered on Xiamen (station identifier ZSAM); alternate animation versions with the BD grayscale enhancement are available in MP4 and animated GIF format.

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

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

About 4 hours after landfall, good curved banding structure was still observed in DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) imagery at 2314 UTC, while the overall presentation of the storm on Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) imagery began to deteriorate (below).

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-18 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and Himawari-8 Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Hurricane Hermine

September 1st, 2016

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

Hermine was upgraded to a Hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico around 20 UTC on 01 September 2016. GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible (0.63 µm) images (above) showed improvement in the appearance of curved banding structures around the eye late in the day. The GOES-13 satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode, providing images as frequently as every 5-7 minutes. Note that Hurricane Hermine developed from Tropical Invest 99L, which was sampled by 1-minute GOES-14 imagery beginning on 25 August; unfortunately, the 1-minute Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSO-R) test period ended at 1115 UTC on 29 August (however, imaging of the evolution of Tropical Depression 9 to Hurricane Hermine continued at 15-minute intervals).

The corresponding GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (below) revealed the eventual formation of a distinct eye, with bursts of convection exhibiting cloud-top IR brightness temperatures in the -75º to -80º C range (shades of white to violet pixels) in the western and southern semicircles of the eyewall region. Hermine became the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with surface/buoy/ship reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation]

A Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image visualized using RealEarth (below) provided a detailed view of the curved banding around the western and southern portion of the eye.

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image [click to enlarge]

A comparison of DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images around 2315 UTC (below) depicted a much larger eye presentation on microwave vs infrared — the microwave image showed the curved banding structure around an eye that was still not well-organized.

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

DMSP-17 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) and GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

While Hermine passed over waters exhibiting warm Sea Surface Temperature values in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, the Ocean Heat Content values were only modest (below).

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content values [click to enlarge]

Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content values [click to enlarge]

The high values of Total Precipitable Water (TPW) associated with Hermine were evident on hourly composites of morphed TPW from MIRS sensors (below). Rainfall amounts exceeded 22 inches in Florida (WPC storm summary)

Morphed Total Precipitable Water derived from MIRS sensors [click to play animation]

Morphed Total Precipitable Water derived from MIRS sensors [click to play animation]


===== Post-landfall Update, 02 September =====
 

Suomi-NPP overflew Hermine shortly after 0700 UTC on 02 September, after its 0530 UTC landfall near St. Mars FL. The toggle below shows the VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band and the 11.45 µm Infrared Window imagery. Both show the asymmetric nature of the storm. Rain and clouds extend quite a distance to the south and east of the storm, but not far to the west. The infrared imagery shows cold cloud tops surrounding the storm center southeast of Tallahassee, with very cold cloud tops also over Tampa FL and near Savannah GA with bands associated with the storm. Cloud detail is missing in the Day/Night Band image because of the lack of lunar illumination — a New Moon occurred early on 01 September — however, high-altitude mesospheric airglow waves (references: 1 | 2 | 3) can be seen off the east coast of Florida and Georgia, excited by Hermine’s bands of strong thunderstorms.

Suomi NPP Day/Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0723 UTC on 2 September [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP Day/Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0723 UTC on 2 September [click to enlarge]

A toggle between before-landfall (0319 UTC Terra MODIS) and after-landfall (0814 UTC POES AVHRR) Infrared images, below, shows the expected trend of warming cloud-top IR brightness temperatures and a consolidation into a more compact storm circulation.

11.0 µm Terra MODIS (0319 UTC) and 12.0 µm POES AVHRR (0814 UTC) Infrared images [click to enlarge]

11.0 µm Terra MODIS (0319 UTC) and 12.0 µm POES AVHRR (0814 UTC) Infrared images [click to enlarge]

===== 03 September Update =====

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]

A toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0707 UTC on 03 September (above; courtesy of William Straka, SSEC) showed that Hermine — still being classified as a Tropical Storm — continued to produce mesospheric airglow waves as it moved off the East Coast of the US. Numerous bright white streaks were also evident on the Day/Night Band image, due to cloud illumination from intense lightning activity.

During the following daylight hours of 03 September, GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible (0.63 µm) images (below: also available as an MP4 animation) showed the circulation of post-tropical cyclone Hermine. In eastern North Carolina, winds gusts as high as 80 mph were recorded, with rainfall amounts as great as 8.54 inches (NWS Newport/Morehead City); the storm also produced a few tornadoes (SPC Storm Reports). In southeastern Virginia, winds gusted to 73 mph (NWS Wakefield). A few of the heavier rainfall amounts for individual states are listed here.

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with surface and buoy wind barbs plotted in yellow and wind gusts (knots) plotted in red [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with surface and buoy wind barbs plotted in yellow and wind gusts (knots) plotted in red [click to play animation]

A Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image visualized using RealEarth (below) showed the clouds associated with Hermine at 1827 UTC.

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image [click to enlarge]

323 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway

August 26th, 2016

GFS model fields of surface pressure, 6-hour precipitation, 850 hPa temperature, and 10-m wind [click to play animation]

GFS model fields of surface pressure, 6-hour precipitation, 850 hPa temperature, and 10-m wind [click to play animation]

GFS model fields from this site (above) showed a relatively compact storm that was deepening as it moved northeastward across southern and central Norway on 26 August 2016.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (below; also available as an MP4 animation) revealed the development of thunderstorms over southern Norway during the 0900-1300 UTC period. Cloud-to-ground lightning from one of these storms is believed to have killed 323 reindeer near the southeastern corner of the Hardangervidda National Park (which is located in the center of the visible and infrared satellite images).

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm, bottom) images, with surface reports plotted in cyan [click to play animation]

Meteosat-10 Visible (0.75 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm, bottom) images, with surface reports plotted in cyan [click to play animation]

The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of the thunderstorms on the 1100 UTC image was -51º C, which corresponded to an altitude of around 10.5 km on the 1200 UTC Ørland rawinsonde report (below) — looking at the individual sounding profiles, Ørland to the north of Hardangervidda was still in the moist convective environment near the center of the storm system, while Stavanger to the south began to show the drier air aloft in the wake of the northeastward-moving storm.

Rawinsonde data from Stavanger and Orland, Norway [click to enlarge]

Rawinsonde data from Stavanger and Orland, Norway [click to enlarge]

A composite of Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image swaths as viewed using RealEarth (below) showed the widespread thunderstorms across southern Norway on the earlier (eastern) 1103 UTC overpass, while the later (western) 1243 UTC overpass showed the effects of the mid-level drier air that was beginning to overspread the region as the center of the parent storm system moved northeast.

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image swaths [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image swaths [click to enlarge]