Blowing dust in Mexico

May 14th, 2012 |
GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

McIDAS images of 1-km resolution GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) revealed widespread areas of blowing dust moving southward across northern Mexico on 14 May 2012. This airborne dust was generated along a southward-moving cold front, which was reinforced by low-level convective outflow boundaries. At Chihuahua, Mexico (station identifier MMCU), the temperature/visibility dropped from 88 F/10 miles to 77 F/0.5 mile within one hour as the leading edge of the blowing dust moved through that location.

A comparison of GOES-15 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) visible channel images (below; click image to play animation) showed the advantage of a more frequent image scanning schedule: the GOES-13 satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode (providing images as often as every 5-10 minutes), in contrast to the routine 15-minute image interval available from GOES-15.

GOES-15 (top) and GOES-13 (bottom) 0.63 µm visible images (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 (top) and GOES-13 (bottom) 0.63 µm visible images (click image to play animation)