GOES-16 is now the operational GOES-East satellite

December 18th, 2017 |

All 16 Bands from GOES-16 at 2102 UTC on 18 December 2017 [click to enlarge]

All 16 Bands from GOES-16 at 2102 UTC on 18 December 2017 [click to enlarge]

GOES-16, which has been sending data from the GOES-East position since 14 December, became the operational GOES-East satellite at 2100 UTC on 18 December, succeeding GOES-13 [which itself became GOES-East, succeeding GOES-12, in April 2010; (this post, from April 2003, is the first one with GOES-12 as the operational GOES-East, it took over for GOES-8 that month!) ].  The animation above shows all 16 Bands of the first operational CONUS image from GOES-16.

 

Changes to the GOES-16 CONUS sector

December 18th, 2017 |

GOES-R CONUS domains for Operational GOES-West Location (137º W Longitude, Green), Check-out Location (89.5º W Longitude, Red) and Operational GOES-East Location (75.2º W Longitude, Blue) (Click to enlarge)

When GOES-16 shifted from its checkout position at 89.5º W Longitude to its position at 75.2º W Longitude (where it will be operational as GOES-East), the domain for the Continental US (CONUS) domain shifted slightly. In ‘Flex Mode‘ (also known as ‘Mode 3‘) of GOES-16 Scanning (and also in the proposed Mode 6), routine CONUS scans occur every 5 minutes. The image above, courtesy Mat Gunshor of CIMSS, shows the GOES-West CONUS scan in green, the GOES-R CONUS scan from the Check-out Location at 89.5º W Longitude in Red, and the GOES-16 CONUS scan domain in blue.

The center point of the CONUS domain, as documented in Table 5.1.2.7-5 from the GOES-R Product Definition and User’s Guide (PUG), shows a shift from 29.24º North Latitude, 91.41º West Longitude (at the check-out location) to 30.08º North Latitude, 87.1º West Longitude (at the operational GOES-East location).  As a result, the entire island of Puerto Rico is now in the CONUS sector, and the northern boundary has shifted farther north into central and western Canada, by about 100 miles.

GOES-16 CONUS Imagery from the Test Location (Left) and GOES-16 CONUS Imagery from the Operational GOES-East Location (right) as displayed in 2 different AWIPS

Contrails over Virginia

December 18th, 2017 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top), Near-Infrared “Cirrus (1.38 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images [click to play animation]

A comparison of GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Cirrus (1.38 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) revealed a number of aircraft contrails drifting eastward across Virginia during the morning hours on 18 December 2017. Note how many of the individual contrails were easier to identify and follow in the sequence of 1-minute interval Mesoscale Sector images.

A Cirrus band is also available on the MODIS instrument (aboard Terra and Aqua) as well as the VIIRS instrument (aboard Suomi NPP and NOAA-20) — a toggle between the Terra MODIS Cirrus (1.375 µm),  Infrared Window (11.0 µm) and Visible (0.65 µm) images at 1607 UTC (below) again showed that contrails and other ice crystal cloud features were better highlighted on the Cirrus image.

Terra MODIS Cirrus (1.375 µm), Infrared Window (11.0 µm) and Visible (0.65 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Cirrus (1.375 µm), Infrared Window (11.0 µm) and Visible (0.65 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The 12 UTC rawinsonde profile from Washington Dulles Airport in northern Virginia (below) showed a relatively moist layer in the upper troposphere near the 300 hPa (9.5 km or 31,000 ft) level, which is a common altitude for commercial jets to fly — this likely contributed to the longevity of many of the contrail features.

Rawinsonde profile from Washington Dulles Airport in Virginia [click to enlarge]

Rawinsonde profile from Washington Dulles Airport in Virginia [click to enlarge]