Suomi NPP VIIRS images showing Arctic Ocean ice movement

April 28th, 2012 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel images

AWIPS images of Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel data (above) and 11.45 µm IR channel data (below) showed cloud and ice features over the Arctic Ocean on 28 April 2012. For geographic reference, station identifier CWMD is Mould Bay, located on Prince Patrick Island in the far northwestern portion of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The meteorological cloud features at this time were fairly benign, with some low stratus seen over the northern portion of the satellite scene, and multi-level clouds associated with a cyclone developing to the south. Of particular interest was the amount of sea ice motion during this relatively short 8-hour period — several ice leads opened up and became very prominent features on both the visible and the IR imagery.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR channel images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR channel images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.61 µm near-IR images (below) revealed a number of narrow “streaks” of supercooled water droplet clouds (which appear as brighter white features) moving away from the islands, suggesting that there were strong winds across the region helping to move the sea ice. Water (and cloud shadows) appear black on the near-IR images, while ice and snow cover appear as darker shades of gray.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.61 µm near-IR images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 1.61 µm near-IR images

Surface analyses at 12 UTC and 18 UTC (below) indicated that there was a strong pressure gradient over the region, between the High over the Arctic Ocean and a deepening Low over far northern Canada. The effect of this tightening pressure gradient was strong offshore (easterly) winds — the closest available observation site was Sachs Harbour on Banks Island, where they had easterly winds of 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots, and zero visibility with heavy snow and heavy blowing snow at 22 UTC.

12 UTC and 18 UTC surface analyses (NOAA/NCEP/OPC)

12 UTC and 18 UTC surface analyses (NOAA/NCEP/OPC)

 

Severe thunderstorms across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana

April 28th, 2012 |
GOES-13 sounder Total Precipitable Water derived product imagery

GOES-13 sounder Total Precipitable Water derived product imagery

AWIPS images of 10-km resolution GOES-13 sounder Total Precipitable Water (TPW) derived product imagery (above) and the corresponding GOES-13 sounder Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) derived product imagery (below) showed that moisture (TPW values as high as 45 mm or 1.78 inches near Saint Louis, Missouri at 16 UTC) and instability (CAPE values as high as 4300 J /kg acorss southern Illinois at 20 UTC) was in place along and to the south of a quasi-stationary warm frontal boundary that was located from eastern Missouri across southern Illinois and southern Indiana during the late morning and early afternoon hours on 28 April 2012.

GOES-13 sounder CAPE derived product imagery

GOES-13 sounder CAPE derived product imagery

4-km resolution GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) indicated that thunderstorms developed in Missouri and southern Illinois, and then tracked east-southeastward along the warm frontal boundary. These storms produced a long swath of large hail and severe wind gusts, as can be seen by the SPC storm reports overlaid on the IR imagery. Later in the afternoon, some of the organized convection began to exhibit well-defined “enhanced-V” storm top signatures, which often denotes thunderstorms that are likely producing (or will soon produce) either large hail, damaging wind gusts, or tornadoes.

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

Greater details can be seen in a 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR image with overlays of METAR surface reports and cumulative SPC storm reports of large hail and damaging wind gusts (below). A long swath of hail and damaging winds can be seen, including one incident where a wind gust of 50 mph blew over an outdoor beer garden tent around 20:50 UTC (resulting in a number of injuries and one fatality).

POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR image + cumulative SPC storm reports of hail and  wind gusts

POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR image + cumulative SPC storm reports of hail and wind gusts

A compariosn of the 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 0.63 µm visible channel image with the corresponding 10.8 µm IR channel image (below) again showed great detail in the overshooting top and cloud top thermal couplet structure.

POES AVHRR 0.63 µm visible channel image + 10.8 µm IR channel image

POES AVHRR 0.63 µm visible channel image + 10.8 µm IR channel image

A comparison of the 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR channel image with the corresponding 4-km resolution GOES-13 10.7 µm IR image (below) demonstrates the value of higher spatial resolution for detecting important cloud top temperature patterns. In this case, the coldest cloud top IR brightness temperature on the POES AVHRR image was -78º C, compared to -69º C on the GOES-13 IR image. Also note the slight northward parallax shift in the GOES-13 IR image.

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel image + POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR channel image

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel image + POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR channel image