Ship condensation trails over the Eastern North Pacfic Ocean

March 31st, 2011 |
GOES-11 0.65 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

McIDAS images of GOES-11 0.65 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed a number of well-defined ship condensation trails (or “ship tracks”) propagating southward within the marine boundary layer stratocumulus cloud field over the eastern North Pacific Ocean on 31 March 2011.

A comparison of AWIPS images of 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible channel data and the corresponding 1-km resolution POES AVHRR Cloud Particle Effective Radius product (below) revealed that the ship tracks were composed of slightly smaller particles (lighter cyan color enhancement) than the surrounding stratocumulus clouds that they were embedded within. Note that many of the ship tracks could not be seen on the visible image within the more overcast stratocumulus cloud deck that covered the southern portion of the image — but their detection was possible using the Cloud Particle Effective Radius product.

POES AVHRR 0.63 µm visible and Cloud Particle Effective Radius product images

POES AVHRR 0.63 µm visible and Cloud Particle Effective Radius product images

As can be seen below, the ship track features did not show up very well in 1-km resolution images of the POES AVHRR Cloud Type product (showing liquid type clouds, cyan color enhancement), the Cloud Top Temperature product (showing temperatures around +10º C, green color enhancement), or the Cloud Top Height product (showing cloud tops around 2-3 km, purple color enhancement).

POES AVHRR Cloud Type product

POES AVHRR Cloud Type product

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Temperature product

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Temperature product

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Height product

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Height product

CIMSS participation in GOES-R Proving Ground activities includes making a variety of POES AVHRR images and products available for National Weather Service offices to add to their local AWIPS workstations.

Wisconsin: 8 consecutive days with the coldest overnight low temperatures in the Lower 48 states

March 31st, 2011 |
MODIS true color RGB images from 24, 27, 28, 29, and 30 March 2011

MODIS true color RGB images from 24, 27, 28, 29, and 30 March 2011

A series of MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images from 24 March, 27 March, 28 March, 29 March, and 30 March (above) showed that most of the northern 2/3 of Wisconsin had significant snow cover during this period (much of it due to the late winter storm of 22-23 March) — the  maximum snow depths across the state ranged from 24 inches on 24 March to 18 inches on 30 March.  Also note that there were also a few small brown-colored areas in far northwestern Wisconsin with no snow on the ground at this time.

This combination of deep snow late-season cover along with cloud-free skies due to persistent high pressure over the region allowed northern Wisconsin to record the coldest overnight low temperatures in Lower 48 states for 8 consecutive days at the end of March 2011:

  • 24 March: -8ºF at Hayward
  • 25 March: -12ºF at Tomahawk
  • 26 March: -13ºF at Tomahawk
  • 27 March: -12ºF at Tomahawk
  • 28 March: -13º F at Tomahawk
  • 29 March: -7ºF at Tomahawk
  • 30 March: +1ºF at Tomahawk
  • 31 March: +7ºF at Antigo

A comparison of AWIPS images of the MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and the corresponding MODIS Land Surface temperature (LST) product (below) showed the effect that the deep snow cover was having across Wisconsin and Lower Michigan on 29 March. MODIS LST values ranged from the upper 20s to middle 30s F (green color enhancement) over the snow covered areas to the upper 60s to low 70s F (darker orange color enhancement) just to the south

MODIS visible image + MODIS Land Surface Temperature product (29 March)

MODIS visible image + MODIS Land Surface Temperature product (29 March)