The “Black Marble”: City Lights At Night

December 5th, 2012
Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band composite (global view)

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band composite (global view)

On 05 December 2012 NASA and the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) jointly released a “Black Marble” global composite of night-time Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band imagery (collected from multiple cloud-free satellite overpasses in April and October 2012) — the image above shows this dataset visualized using the SSEC Web Map Server. See the NASA news story and the SSEC news story for additional details.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band composite image (North America)

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band composite image (North America)

A closer view of North America is shown above, with a zoomed-in image centered on Madison, Wisconsin shown below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band composite image (centered on Madison, WI)

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band composite image (centered on Madison, WI)

Many examples of the VIIRS Day/Night Band showing a variety of phenomena can be found elsewhere on the CIMSS Satellite Blog.

Valley fog in Kentucky, and aircraft “distrails” in South Carolina

December 5th, 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)

Two features of interest appeared on McIDAS images of GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) on the morning of 05 December 2012: (1) fingers of valley fog across much of Kentucky, which dissipated as daytime heating and boundary layer mixing increased, and (2) a pair of aircraft dissipation trails (or “distrails”) that first appeared north of Sumter (KSSC) and drifted east-northeastward between Florence (KFLO) and Darlington (KUDG). It is likely that these distrails (highlighted with yellow ‘>’ symbols) formed as aircraft heading to or from Charleston SC passed through the supercooled water droplet cloud layer, causing glaciation and subsequent fallout of the ice crystals to create the elongated clearing lines.