Eruption of the Kuchinoerabu-jima volcano in Japan

May 29th, 2015 |
Himawari-8 AHI 0.64 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

Himawari-8 AHI 0.64 µm visible channel images (click to play animation)

The Kuchinoerabu-jima volcano in Japan experienced a violent eruption beginning around 00:59 UTC on 29 May 2015 — the expanding volcanic cloud was captured by 0.5-km resolution Himawari-8 AHI 0.64 µm visible channel images (above; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file). A mid-layer volcanic cloud was seen moving to the west-northwest, while a high-altitude plume spread out as it moved east-southeastward.

About an hour after the eruption, Terra MODIS products at 0205 UTC from the SSEC Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site are shown below. Retrieved volcanic Ash Probabilities were very high for both cloud segments; for the southeastern cloud segment, the maximum volcanic Ash Height was in the 10-12 km range, volcanic Ash Loading was high, and the largest Ash Effective Radius values were in the 8-10 um range.

Terra MODIS false-color RGB image

Terra MODIS false-color RGB image

Volcanic Ash Probability product

Volcanic Ash Probability product

Volcanic Ash Height product

Volcanic Ash Height product

Volcanic Ash Loading product

Volcanic Ash Loading product

Volcanic Ash Effective Radius product

Volcanic Ash Effective Radius product

Tornadic Thunderstorm over eastern Colorado

May 28th, 2015 |

NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere Product, 1902-1922 UTC on 27 May 2015 [click to play very very large animation]

GOES-14 Visible Imagery (0.626 µm) animation, 1708 UTC 27 May 2015 – 0059 UTC 28 May 2015 [click to play very very large animation]

A tornado was reported near Yuma, CO, (SPC Storm Reports) at 1910 UTC on 27 May 2015. GOES-14 was in SRSO-R scanning mode, and a storm-centered animation of the visible imagery (0.626 µm) is shown above (Warning: the animation above is 270M; click here for an mp4, or view it on YouTube). Note that GOES-14 produces no imagery from 1900-1915 UTC when the satellite is performing daily station-keeping maneuvers. The tornado occurred early in the life of the supercell on which the animation centers.

The NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere output for this storm is shown below. ProbSevere increased above 50% at 1904 UTC. The satellite information for the storm object was derived from GOES-13 data between 1730 and 1745 UTC, when strong growth occurred, and from 1745-1815 UTC when weak glaciation occurred (how the reduced time resolution at that time, when GOES-13 is scanning a full-disk image, affected the Glaciation estimates is not certain — ‘weak’ is probably a lower bound).

NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere Product, 1902-1922 UTC on 27 May 2015 [click to play animation]

NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere Product, 1902-1922 UTC on 27 May 2015 [click to play animation]

GOES-14 SRSO-R imagery: severe thunderstorms in Texas and Oklahoma

May 25th, 2015 |


GOES-14 remained in Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSO-R) mode on 25 May 2015, providing 1-minute 0.63 µm visible channel imagery of severe thunderstorms that produced widespread damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes  (SPC storm reports) across much of Texas (above; also available as an MP4 movie file). One fatality and four injuries were reported at 2104 UTC in Pettibone, Texas (denoted by the asterisk in this GOES-14 visible/IR comparison).

The animation below (YouTube 1080p HD version; also available as an MP4 movie file) is centered a bit farther north, to cover storms that developed in Oklahoma. The enhancement is also tailored to help highlight the thunderstorm overshooting tops and storm-top gravity wave features.


Eruption of the Wolf Volcano in the Galapagos Islands

May 25th, 2015 |

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel (left) and 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel (right) images [click to play animation]

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel (left) and 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel (right) images [click to play animation]

After nearly 33 years of inactivity, a comparison of GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel and 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel images (above; click to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file) showed that the Wolf Volcano in the Galapagos Islands began to erupt sometime between 0645 and 0715 UTC on 25 May 2015. A large thermal anomaly or “hot spot” (red-enhanced pixels) was quite apparent, along with what appeared to be a brief post-eruption “shock wave” (warmer, darker gray enhancement) propagating radially outward from the eruption site on the 0715 and 0745 UTC shortwave IR images. Two plumes of volcanic cloud could be seen: a small one at a lower altitude propagating northeastward, and a second larger plume at a higher altitude moving south-southwestward.

With the arrival of daylight at 1215 UTC, a portion of the volcanic cloud could be seen at times (although identification was difficult with widespread meteorological clouds present in the area).

An Aqua MODIS false-color Red/Gren/Blue (RGB) image at 0800 UTC (below; courtesy of Michael Pavolonis, NOAA/NESDIS/CIMSS) displayed a signal of SO2 (green enhancement) along the edges of the larger volcanic cloud as it was moving southward.

Aqua MODIS false-color RGB image

Aqua MODIS false-color RGB image

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (below; click to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file) indicated that the coldest cloud-top IR brightness temperature of -65º C appeared at 1015 UTC with the larger plume moving south-southwestward.

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images [click to play animation]

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images [click to play animation]

According to the nearby San Cristobal rawinsonde report at 12 UTC, the altitude of the -65º C temperature was around 14 km, at the 157 hPa pressure level. The tropopause for this sounding was coded to be at 16.1 km or 109.0 hPa, where the air temperature was -80.7º C.

San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands rawinsonde data profile

San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands rawinsonde data profile

The latest advisories issued by the Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center can be found here.