Fire and Ice, as viewed by GOES-11

March 9th, 2011 |

 

GOES-11 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES-11 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

 

A fissure eruption on the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii began on 05 March 2011 — and 3 days later, McIDAS images of GOES-11 3.9 µm shortwave IR data (above; click image to play animation) displayed a prominent “hot spot” (yellow to red enhanced pixels) during the day on 08 March 2011.

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (below; click image to play animation) showed the hazy summit plume spreading southwestward during the day. This volcanic plume contained high levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), as seen on an image of OMI total column SO2 (courtesy of NOAA/NESDIS).

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (click image to play animation)

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (click image to play animation)

About 3000 miles (4800 km ) to the north, GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (below; click image to play animation) showed the movement of ice in the Bering Sea west of Alaska. Note that the motion of the ice was toward the northeast early in the animation, but then changed to motion toward the southwest later in the day. Surface winds along with tidal currents in the Bering Sea have an influence on the overall motion of the ice.

 

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (click image to play animation)

GOES-11 0.65 µm visible images (click image to play animation)

The motion of the ice in the Bering Sea could also be seen on a sequence of AWIPS images of POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible channel data (below).

POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible images

POES AVHRR 0.86 µm visible images

 

The POES AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product (below) indicated that SST values were in the low to middle 30f F (darker blue color enhancement) in the ice-free water south and west of the ice edge.

POES AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature product

POES AVHRR Sea Surface Temperature product

 

Hawaiian “vog” plume

January 1st, 2010 |
GOES-11 and GOES-14 visible channel images

GOES-11 and GOES-14 visible channel images

McIDAS images of GOES-11 and GOES-14 visible channel data (above) revealed a large hazy plume streaming northeastward from the Hawaiian Islands on 31 December 2009 – 01 January 2010. The primary source of this plume was ongoing emissions from the Kilauea volcano on “The Big Island” of Hawaii — the resulting “vog” (volcanic smog) is air pollution that forms when sulfur dioxide and other gases/particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. On 31 December the haze was reducing visibility to 5 miles at Lahaina on Maui island.

This GOES-11 vs GOES-14 visible image comparison helps to highlight two important points: (1) due to a more favorable “forward scattering” geometry with GOES-14 positioned at 105º West longitude, the extent of the “vog” plume shows up with greater clarity on GOES-14 images later in the day compared to GOES-11 (positioned at 135º West longitude), and (2) the performance of the GOES visible channel detectors degrades over time, so the much older GOES-11 (launched in 2000) visible imagery appears significantly darker (the enhancement of the images is the same). GOES-14 (launched in 2009) was emulating GOES-West during the final days of its NOAA Science Test.

Under typical conditions, the dominant northeasterly trade winds act to advect the plume of “vog” toward the southwest — but in this case, an AWIPS image of the GOES-11 IR channel with an overlay of ASCAT scatterometer winds (below) showed that there was a southwesterly flow in advance of an approaching cold front.

GOES-11 IR image + ASCAT scatterometer winds

GOES-11 IR image + ASCAT scatterometer winds

An image of the Aura satellite Ozone Measuring Instrument (OMI) Total Column Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) product (below; courtesy of NOAA/NESDIS) confirms that elevated levels of SO2 were present within the “vog” plume seen on GOES visible imagery.

OMI SO2 product (courtesy of NOAA/NESDIS)

OMI SO2 product (courtesy of NOAA/NESDIS)

Cold front approaching Hawaii

September 30th, 2008 |
AWIPS satellite images + surface analysis

AWIPS satellite images + surface analysis

A cold frontal boundary was moving southward across the Pacific Ocean and approaching the Hawaiian Islands on 29 September30 September 2008, as seen on a comparison of AWIPS visible, IR, and water vapor satellite imagery and corresponding surface analysis (above). According to the boundary layer Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) atmospheric motion vectors (below), the front was moving southward at a speed of around 15-20 knots — IR cloud top temperatures were warmer than 0º C along the frontal cloud band north of Hawaii, suggesting rather shallow cloud features.

AWIPS image of GOES-11 10.7 µm IR channel and MADIS winds

AWIPS image of GOES-11 10.7 µm IR channel and MADIS winds

A closer view using GOES-11 visible imagery (below) revealed that a series of mesoscale vorticies had developed along the frontal boundary. Another interesting feature was the persistent volcanic plume downwind of the big island of Hawaii (streaming toward the southwest), due to ongoing activity at the Kilauea volcano since Spring 2008 (see the April 2008 CIMSS satellite blog entry). Also note the long, thin line of cumulus clouds below the volcanic plume, a result of lee-side convergence.

GOES-11 visible images

GOES-11 visible images

A comparison of GOES-11 and GOES-13 visible images (below) shows that the volcanic plume was even more apparent with the larger viewing angle and more favorable “forward scattering” geometry from the GOES-13 satellite (positioned at 105º W longitude, vs. 135º W longitude for GOES-11).

GOES-11 and GOES-13 visible images

GOES-11 and GOES-13 visible images