Cyclone Gillian in the Indian Ocean

March 24th, 2014 |
MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR channel images (click to play animation)

MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR channel images (click to play animation)

McIDAS images of MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the southward motion of Cyclone Gillian as it intensified over the far eastern Indian Ocean to Category 5 intensity on 23 March 2014 (Joint Typhoon Warning Center advisory). A Category 5 tropical cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere (and in the Indian Ocean basin) is a relatively rare event.

An MTSAT-2 IR image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site with an overlay of Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds at 14:20 UTC (below) showed the tight radius of high winds around the center of circulation.

MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR image with Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds

MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR image with Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds

MTSAT-2 0.675 µm visible channel images (below; click image to play animation) revealed the formation of a well-defined eye on 23 March.

MTSAT-2 0.675 µm visible channel images [click to play animation]

MTSAT-2 0.675 µm visible channel images [click to play animation]

A plot of the Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) satellite-based intensity estimate (below) showed the period of rapid intensification on 23 March, with tropcial cyclone Gillian reaching its peak intensity late on 23 March.

Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) plot for Cyclone Gillian

Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) plot for Cyclone Gillian

A comparison of MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR channel data and DMSP SSMIS-16 85 GHz microwave brightness temperature data (below) demonstrated the ability of microwave imagery to show important storm details (such as the closed eyewall, and curved spiral bands) that might be obscured by clouds on conventional IR images.

MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR image and DMSP SSMIS-16 85 GHz microwave brightness temperature image

MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR image and DMSP SSMIS-16 85 GHz microwave brightness temperature image

The MIMIC Total Precipitable Water (TPW) product (below; click image to play animation) showed the circulation of high TPW values as Cyclone Gillian began to move southward from Indonesia on 21 March. As the tropical cyclone began to encounter an environment of increasing vertical wind shear poleward of about 20º S latitude, the storm began to rapidly decrease in intensity — and on 26 March Gillian was downgraded to a tropical low.

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (click to play animation)

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (click to play animation)

Fix for GOES-13 Sounder Pixel Drop-outs

March 24th, 2014 |
GOES-13 Sounder 10.7 µm imagery without and with Processing Software changes (click to enlarge)

GOES-13 Sounder 10.7 µm imagery without and with Processing Software changes (click to enlarge)

The GOES-13 (GOES-East) Sounder instrument has been experiencing data anomalies that manifest themselves as missing pixels (link, link). These errors occurred because of slight fluctuations in the speed of the sounder filter wheel, resulting in a time offset. Processing software expects the data to be present at a certain time, but because of the filter wheel speed fluctuations, data were not present when expected. All 19 spectral bands on the GOES-13 Sounder were affected.

Missing data can now be reclaimed using a modified version of the SPS (Sensor Processing System), the ground software that makes the GVAR data stream. GOES Engineers have been testing this software change. The test software modifications properly handle the slight differences in the timing of the data. As of this time, a date has not been slated for operational implementation by NOAA NESDIS.

An example with all 19 bands of the GOES-13 Sounder is shown below, with the current pixel drop-outs (top) and after the software changes were applied (bottom) as part of off-line testing (image toggle).

GOES-13 Sounder imagery (all 19 bands) [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 Sounder imagery (all 19 bands) [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 Sounder imagery (all 19 bands) produced with new processing software [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 Sounder imagery (all 19 bands) produced with new processing software [click to enlarge]