Cold temperatures in Montana and North Dakota

February 8th, 2019 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Very cold surface air temperatures occurred in northeastern Montana and northwestern North Dakota on the morning of 08 February 2019 — with official lows of -50ºF near Antelope and Four Buttes in Montana and -47ºF at Bottineau in North Dakota (and according to MesoWest, -49ºF was registered at a Department of Transportation site west of Crosby in far northwestern North Dakota). GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) revealed surface brightness temperatures across those areas were as cold as -47ºC (-53ºF).

A sequence of VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (below) showed similar surface brightness temperatures, with some pixels as cold as -48ºC (-54ºF). The color enhancement applied to the VIIRS images is the same as that used on the GOES-16 images above, with the red colors beginning at the -40ºC breakpoint (violets begin at -50ºC). While there is not a direct correspondence between satellite-sensed surface infrared brightness temperatures and air temperatures measured in an above-ground instrument shelter, with improving satellite spatial resolution the difference is often within 1-3ºC (or 2-5ºF).

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP (at 0753 and 0937 UTC) and NOAA-20 (at 0844 UTC) [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP (at 0753 and 0937 UTC) and NOAA-20 (at 0844 UTC) [click to enlarge]