Yet another powerful storm strikes the British Isles

February 5th, 2014 |
Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

McIDAS images of EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 0.635 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the cloud structure associated with a powerful midlatitude cyclone that was moving northeastward toward the British Isles on 04 February 2014. This storm — the latest in a series of intense North Atlantic Ocean storms to batter the region during the winter of 2013/2014 — produced very strong winds (gusting to 92 mph on the Isle of Scilly), heavy rain, and flooding; power was cut to over 40,000 customers, and rail service was disrupted.

The evolution of the storm could be seen on hourly composites of geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite water vapor channel imagery covering the 03-05 February period (below), visualized using the SSEC RealEarth web map server. As the large storm began to dissipate, another system could be seen developing upstream over the North Atlantic Ocean. Also of note are the subtle wave structures that could be seen in the water vapor imagery downwind of the Azores, caused by strong winds interacting with the high terrain of the islands (the tallest point is Pico, at 2,351 meters or 7,713 ft).

Composite of water vapor channel imagery (click to play animation)

Composite of water vapor channel imagery (click to play animation)

Eruption of the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador

February 2nd, 2014 |
GOES-13 false-color RGB images (click to play animation)

GOES-13 false-color RGB images (click to play animation)

After 2 days of renewed activity, the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador produced some minor eruptions punctuated by a single large eruption on 01 February 2014. GOES-13 false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images specifically tailored to help identify and track volcanic features (above; click image to play animation) showed (1) the southeastward drift of the initial volcanic plume (estimated to be as high as 26,000 feet) from 19:45 – 22:15 UTC, followed by (2) the rapid expansion and southward drift of the larger volcanic plume (estimated to be as high as 45,000 feet) after 22:45 UTC, and (3) another smaller volcanic plume (estimated to be as high as 23,000 feet) drifting southeastward after 02:45 UTC on 02 February.

McIDAS images of GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR data (below; click image to play animation) revealed the presence of a distinct “hot spot” (dark black to yellow to red enhancement) at the summit of the volcano after 22:45 UTC — the hottest pixel detected was 338.5 K or 66.4º C at 00:45 UTC on 02 February.

GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click to play animation)

GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click to play animation)

As the sun was setting, the rapidly-rising volcanic ash plume associated with the stronger eruption cast a long shadow toward the east-northeast on the 22:45 UTC GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel image (below).

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel image

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel image