GOES-12 is retired from service

August 16th, 2013 |

The GOES-12 Sounder has sent its last data, ending more than 12 years of service. The GOES-12 Sounder was turned off at 1100 UTC on 13 August. GOES-12 was launched on July 23, 2001, and GOES-12 transmitted data from 16 August 2001 – 7 January 2002, and then more or less continuously from January 16, 2003 onward, a lengthy record of data collection for a geostationary satellite. GOES-12 initially served as GOES-East, replacing GOES-8. After April, 2010, when GOES-13 began service as GOES-East, GOES-12 was moved to 60 West longitude and supplied data over South America. The end of its fuel supply after a dozen years in orbit requires a decommissioning that is scheduled for Friday 16 August.

GOES-12 Sounder Imagery over South America, 0931 UTC on 13 August 2013

GOES-12 Sounder Imagery over South America, 0931 UTC on 13 August 2013

The last GOES Sounder images were centered over Bolivia, as shown above. Sounder data can be used to estimate Total Precipitable Water, or Cloud Top Pressure. A toggle between these last two products from GOES-12 is shown below.

GOES-12 DPI Total Precipitable Water and Cloud-Top Pressure, nominal time of 1100 UTC 13 August 2013

GOES-12 DPI Total Precipitable Water and Cloud-Top Pressure, nominal time of 1100 UTC 13 August 2013

The GOES-12 Imager was turned off at approximately 2330 UTC on 15 August 2013; De-orbit maneuvers are scheduled at 0100 and 1300 UTC on 16 August 2013.

The loss of data flowing from GOES-12 will have an impact on the GOES-13 scanning strategy. During routine GOES-13 scanning, there are six South American images every three hours. However, during past GOES-13 Rapid Scan Operations (RSO), only one South American Image was scanned every three hours — the Southern Hemisphere Short Sector (SHSS) that was south of the Equator, west of South America. (An example is here). In the scanning strategy now, a South American Image over the southern Amazon Basin (the South American ‘A’ Sector; here is a second example) will be produced near the top of the hour, and a South American Image over the southern part of the Continent (the South American ‘B’ Sector; here is a second example) will be produced near the bottom of the hour. An RSO call late on 13 August yielded the following two images in an hour.

GOES-13 South America Sectors (A and B)

GOES-13 South America Sectors (A and B)

=================UPDATE 16 August 2013=======================

GOES-12 10.7 µm infrared channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-12 10.7 µm infrared channel images (click image to play animation)

The Imager was shut off around 2340 UTC on August 15 2013. The loop above shows the final two days of the Full Disk imagery. The final set of Imager imagery — all five channels — is below.

GOES-12 Imager over South America, 2328 UTC on 15 August 2013

GOES-12 Imager over South America, 2328 UTC on 15 August 2013

GOES-12 produced many excellent loops. Perhaps the most famous, a visible imagery loop of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico, is available here (Or here as a Quicktime movie).

GOES-14 SRSO-R images of convection in the Southeast US

August 15th, 2013 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible and 11.45 µm IR images (with surface fronts and MSAS surface wind streamlines)

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible and 11.45 µm IR images (with surface fronts and MSAS surface wind streamlines)

A comparison of AWIPS images of 1-km resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel and 11.45 µm IR channel data at 18:35 UTC on 15 August 2013 (above) showed a number of organized clusters of deep convection which where generally located along a quasi-stationary frontal boundary that was draped across the Southeast US. Streamlines of MSAS surface winds also indicated an area of strong convergence over southeastern Georgia, where new convection was just beginning to develop.

GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

McIDAS images of 1-km resolution GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the evolution of the developing convection across southeastern Georgia in great detail at 1-minute intervals (since the GOES-14 satellite was in SRSO-R mode). At such a fine temporal resolution, short-lived features such as convective overshooting tops could easily be identified and followed — especially as the convection appeared to intensify as it interacted with the sea breeze boundary along the Georgia and Florida coasts. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument on the next-generation GOES-R satellite will be able to provide images as frequently as every 30 seconds over special mesoscale sectors.

The corresponding 4-km resolution GOES-14 10.7 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) also revealed the evolution of the coldest overshooting tops associated with the most vigorous thunderstorm updrafts. The coldest GOES-14 storm top IR brightness temperature was -74º C at 21:10 UTC. During the time period of the animation, there were reports of damaging winds at a few locations across far southeastern Georgia and far northeastern Florida (SPC storm reports). On the GOES-R ABI, the spatial resolution of the IR imagery will be improved to 2 km, which should make the identification of important storm-top signatures easier.

GOES-14 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 10.7 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan images of valley fog in West Virginia

August 14th, 2013 |
GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

An animation of 0.63 µm visible channel images (above; click image to play animation; also available as a QuickTime movie) from the GOES-14 satellite (which was in SRSO-R mode, providing images at 1-minute intervals) captured the dissipation of nocturnal valley fog across West Virginia and parts of adjacent states on the morning of 14 August 2013. The haziness seen across the southern quarter of the images was due to a layer of smoke aloft, transported from large fires which had been burning in the northwestern US.

About an hour prior to the first 11:20 UTC GOES-14 visible image above, a comparison of 1-km resolution POES AVHRR and 4-km resolution GOES-13 IR brightness temperature difference “Fog/stratus product” images (below) demonstrated the advantage of higher spatial resolution for the accurate detection of such small-scale features at night (before visible imagery becomes available). Map outlines have been removed, but the image is centered over West Virginia; the darker signature of the Ohio River (winding from northeast to southwest) can best be seen in the POES AVHRR image.

POES AVHRR and GOES-13 IR brightness temperature difference

POES AVHRR and GOES-13 IR brightness temperature difference “Fog/stratus product” images

 

GOES-14 SRSO-R Views of Convection over Montana

August 14th, 2013 |
GOES-14 and GOES-15 0.62 µm Visible images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 and GOES-15 0.62 µm Visible images (click image to play animation)

SRSO-R GOES-14 1-minute imagery shows the dynamic nature of the cirrus canopy over developing convection. Strong convection over Montana includes multiple overshooting tops that are visible in the GOES-14 imagery. Routine GOES-15 imagery, also shown, lacks the temporal resolution to capture the growth and decay of many cloud-top features. This is especially true every three hours when a full-disk image is scanned (at 0000 UTC, for example), and at times when satellite housekeeping precludes scanning (at 0045 UTC in this case). The 10.7 µm imagery, below, tells a similar tale. Cold cloud tops appear and vanish at time scales that are not resolved by present operational capabilities.

GOES-R will allow for simultaneous full disk scanning and RSO scanning at the mesoscale.

GOES-14 and GOES-15 10.7 µm IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES-14 and GOES-15 10.7 µm IR images (click image to play animation)