Comparisons of "water vapor" channel imagery from the NOAA GOES-12/GOES-10/GOES-08 satellites show the improved spatial resolution of the GOES-12 water vapor data (4 km in both the N-S and W-E directions). Water vapor boundaries appear smoother in the GOES-12 imagery, especially the boundary associated with an upper-tropospheric jet streak moving northeastward across Illinois, Indiana and Michigan on 19 November 2001 (below, left).
GOES-12 water vapor imagery from 20 November 2001 (above, left) was able to better resolve the small-scale mountain wave features over parts of Wyoming and Montana, as well as the high cloud structure over the central Rocky Mountains and the adjacent central Plains region. On 21 November 2001, a vortex strip roll-up (Terra MODIS water vapor image) was evident over extreme northeastern Texas (above, right). The mean water vapor brightness temperature within the vortex roll-up was 4.4 C warmer on GOES-12 (-21.05 C, versus -25.45 C on GOES-08), due in part to the different spectral response of the GOES-12 6.5 micrometer channel (which senses upwelling radiation from a deeper, somewhat lower layer of the middle troposphere).