A mid-latitude cyclone developed over the North Pacific Ocean (near 38 N latitude, 148 West longitude) on 16 February 2000. NOAA GOES-10 6.7 micrometer ("water vapor") imagery (above) revealed a well-defined spiral of moist and dry circulations as the cyclonic vortex reached the mature phase of development. The surface low associated with this cyclone was not particularly intense, only having a central pressure of about 1000 hPa. Comparisons with numerical model fields later in the day (700 hPa | 500 hPa | 300 hPa) shows that the Nested Grid Model (NGM) analyzed the position of the circulation too far to the east. Using GOES water vapor imagery can be a useful tool in model verification over data-sparse regions such as the North Pacific Ocean.
Imagery from the 3 "water vapor" channels on the GOES-10 Sounder are shown below. The different weighting functions for sounder channel 10 (7.5 micrometer), channel 11 (7.0 micrometer), and channel 12 (6.5 micrometer) are sensitive to moisture contributions from different layers of the troposphere, which provides some information about the vertical distribution of the moisture and circulation features of the cyclone over the North Pacific. The spiral circulation was clearly evident on all 3 sounder water vapor channels, signifying that the cyclonic vortex existed throughout a deep layer of the troposphere.
(- Fade between the 3 Sounder water vapor image channels -)