Hurricane Maria moves across Dominica

September 19th, 2017 |

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Infrared 10.3 µm imagery, 0055 to 0414 UTC on 19 September 2017 (Click to play 161 M animated gif)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

GOES-16 ABI 10.3 µm Infrared Imagery shows the path of Category 5 Hurricane Maria’s transit across the Caribbean Island of Dominica. The compact eye moved from east-central Dominica to the northwest coast of Dominica over the course of about 2 hours late on the 18th and early on the 19th of September 2017.

===================== Added, 2130 UTC on 19 September 2017 =====================

Later in the day on 19 September, Suomi NPP overflew Category 5 Hurricane Maria. The toggle below shows the Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) imagery zoomed in over the eye. A Caribbean Basin-wide view (visible and infrared toggle) is below that. The storm displays excellent structure with strong banding and outflow and little indication of shear.  (Suomi NPP Imagery courtesy William Straka, CIMSS)

Suomi NPP Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery over the eye of Hurricane Maria, 1742 UTC on 19 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery of Hurricane Maria over the eastern Caribbean, 1742 UTC on 19 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

For more on the Hurricane Maria, consult the webpages of the National Hurricane Center or the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Maria just to the east of the Leeward Islands

September 18th, 2017 |

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Infrared 10.3 µm imagery, 1600-2017 UTC on 18 September 2017 (Click to animate). Note: The Label states GOES-17 in error, and the time annotation becomes stuck for a time.

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

Hurricane Maria underwent rapid intensification on 18 September as it moved through very warm waters to the east of the Leeward Islands. The animation of GOES-16 “Clean Window” Infrared Imagery (10.3 µm), above, shows the rapid development of a warm concentric eye between 1640 and 1940 UTC. The toggle below, between 1600 UTC and 2000 UTC, testifies to a great increase in organization and strength. Click here for an mp4 animation from 1400 UTC to 2100 UTC on 18 September showing the intensification in the Visible (0.64 µm) channel from ABI.

GOES-16 “Clean Window” Infrared 10.3 µm imagery, 1600 and 2017 UTC on 18 September 2017 (Click to enlarge). Note: The Label states GOES-17 in error.

The storm is in an environment of very low shear (below) and moving towards warm water that is quite deep as depicted by large values of Oceanic Heat Content (bottom). (Maps found at this site).

850-250 hPa wind shear, 1800 UTC on 18 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

Oceanic Heat Content analysis, 1800 UTC on 18 September 2017. (Click to enlarge). Note the relative cool wake north of the Leeward Islands left behind by Hurricane Irma.

Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data over Maria for the two hours ending 2045 UTC on 18 September (from this site; click here for infrared imagery), shows lightning within the southern eyewall of the storm.

GLM Group Observations in 3-minute intervals plotted on top of GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery, 1830-2045 UTC on 18 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

For more information on this dangerous storm, refer to the webpages of the National Hurricane Center, or to the CIMSS Tropical Weather website. People in the Leeward Islands in particular should pay close attention to this storm.

Tropical Storm Maria upgraded to Hurricane Maria in the central Atlantic

September 16th, 2017 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to animate]

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *

On 16 September 2017, GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the early stages of development of Tropical Storm Maria in the central Atlantic Ocean (located at 12.3 ºN latitude, 52.6 ºW longitude at 2100 UTC). Convective bursts exhibited cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures in the -77 ºC to -79 ºC range (brighter white enhancement). The hourly surface report from TBPB (along the left edge of the images) is Bridgetown in Barbados.

Unfortunately, the initial National Hurricane Center forecast track (below) takes Maria to Major Hurricane intensity over or near islands that were recently heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma. Maria is forecast to remain in an environment of low wind shear and move over waters characterized by warm SST and high OHC values (source), which all favor intensification.

Initial NHC forecast track [click to enlarge]

Initial NHC forecast track [click to enlarge]

===== 17 September Update =====
GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to animate]

GOES-16 Visible (<strong0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to animate]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Widow (10.3 µm) images (above) revealed a steady trend of organization during the day on 17 September, which allowed Maria to intensify to Category 1 Hurricane status at 2100 UTC. Note the large convective burst which expanded just west of the center of circulation after 1700 UTC — cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were impressively cold, in the -80ºC to -89ºC range (violet shades of color enhancement).

===== 18 September Update =====
GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to animate]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, left) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images [click to animate]

A GOES-16 Mesoscale Sector was positioned over Hurricane Maria, providing imagery at 1-minute intervals — Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) captured the formation of an obvious eye feature beginning around 1615 UTC. Maria rapidly intensified (CIMSS SATCON) from a Category 1 to a Category 4 Hurricane east of Le Lamentin, Martinique (TFFF) during this daylight sequence of 1-minite images; the eye then went on to approach the small island of Dominica (TDCF is the identifier of their Canefield Airport) — and in fact Maria was upgraded to Category 5 intensity as the eye was just east of Dominica at 00 UTC on 19 September (NHC advisory). AWIPS imagery of the 1-minute GOES-16 Infrared data is available here.

This small-diameter “pinhole eye” was also evident earlier in the day on DMSP microwave imagery at 1040 UTC, and again at 1843 UTC.

GOES-16 views Thunderstorms in northern Minnesota

September 15th, 2017 |

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-13 (right) views of thunderstorms over northern Minnesota. Top: Visible (0.64 µm) ; bottom (10.3 µm , left; 10.7 µm , right), 2000 UTC – 2350 UTC on 14 September (Click to animate)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

GOES-16 and GOES-13 animations of thunderstorms over northern Minnesota, above, courtesy Science and Operations Officer (SOO) Dan Miller from the Duluth National Weather Service Office, show how the superior spatial and temporal resolution of GOES-16 enhances the ability to monitor the evolution of storms. Not only are the individual cold overshooting tops much more apparent in the nominal 2-km resolution Infrared imagery of GOES-16 (lower left) (vs. 4-km for GOES-13 in the lower right), but their evolution is better captured by the 5-minute temporal cadence for GOES-16 (vs. 15-minute for GOES-13).

Visible (0.64 µm) imagery from GOES-16 (upper left) also has better spatial (nominally 0.5 km) resolution than GOES-13 (upper right, nominally 1 km). Note that the black points at the start of the animation in GOES-16 are regions of very high reflectivity that — for now — are incorrectly set to missing in AWIPS. Consider, for example, the visible signatures of the overshooting tops in GOES-13: are you certain you are tracking the same feature with the 15-minute time step? GOES-16 data show that overshoots can emerge and decay much more quickly than every 15 minutes!