GOES-17 sees Landsat 9 Rocket Plume

September 28th, 2021 |

The ABI on NOAA‘s GOES-17 (GOES-West) was able to see the Landsat 9 rocket plume from Vandenberg Space Force base. The plume was most evident on ABI bands 7 (3.9 µm) and 8 (6.2 µm), using the mesoscale sector (1) on September 27, 2021.

The 16 spectral bands from GOES-17 on September 27, 2021 off the coast of California. Note bands 7 and 8.

The same animation as above, but as an animated gif. The 18:15 UTC image. CONUS and Full Disk 16-panel ABI images are also posted, for both GOES-16 and GOES-17.

GOES-17 “rocket plume” RGB on September 27, 2021.

The same animation as above, but as an animated gif. The 18:15 UTC image. More on the ‘rocket plume’ RGB: quick guide and CIMSS Satellite Blog post.


NOAA GOES17 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services. McIDAS-X was used the generate the 16-panel imagery, while geo2grid was used to generate the ‘rocket plume’ RGB.

1985s Hurricane Gloria

September 27th, 2021 |

Late September of 1985, saw the landfalls of Hurricane Gloria. More information. These NOAA GOES-6 animations are in both the infrared (window) and visible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.


A color-enhanced GOES-6 infrared loop from September 21-27, 1985.

A still infrared image is from September 25, 1985. Note that cold temperatures are colored yellow, red and black.


A GOES-6 visible loop from September 27, 1985.

A similar loop, as an animated gif. Also see this still image.

A combined visible and infrared GOES-6 Full Disk image from September 27, 1985 at 18 UTC.

A larger Full Disk “sandwich” image from the same time as above.


H/T Brian McNoldy for reminding us of “his storm”:

More on Hurricane Gloria via AMS publications.

NOAA GOES-6 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services. McIDAS-X was used the generate the imagery. Of course the current generation of GOES imagers (ABI) provide much improved (spatial, spectral and temporal) imagery. Or see a CIMSS Satellite Blog post on Hurricane Sam.

A GOES ABI View of the Firefly Aerospace’s Maiden Flight

September 3rd, 2021 |

NOAA‘s GOES-16 and GOES-17 ABI observed the Firefly Aerospace’s maiden flight from Vandenberg Air Force base.

GOES-16 ABI 16-panel captured the before and after. Loop: (animated gif) (mp4).

GOES-16 ABI 16-panel animation from September 3, 2021 at 02:00 UTC.

The parallax effect is very evident comparing GOES-17 and GOES-16 ABI views. Loop: (animated gif) (mp4). What is shown is a multi-spectral “rocket plume” RGB. More about parallax can be explored using this webapp.

GOES-17 and GOES-16 “Rocket Plume” RGB from September 2, 2021 at 02:00 UTC.

These loops were made using McIDAS-X or UW GEO CSPP geo2grid software with data via the UW/SSEC Data Services.

Forecasting lightning

July 15th, 2021 |

Lightning safety is important for aircraft, mariners, and many outdoor activities. CIMSS is working to evaluate a model that nowcasts lightning. This model was trained using GOES-16 ABI visible, near-infrared, and long-wave infrared channels, as well as GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) observations. It predicts the probability of lightning (IC or CG, as observed by GLM) in the next 60 minutes at any given point. The model routinely provides lead-time to lightning initiation of 20 minutes or more. We’re hopeful that one day such a model will help forecasters provide guidance for aviators, mariners, and decision support services (DSS) for things like sporting events, festivals, and theme parks. Near-real-time model output can be viewed using SSEC’s RealEarth.

Below are a few examples, with the forecast lightning probability contoured over the daytime cloud phase RGB and GOES-16 GLM flash-extent density.

So this summer, whether you’re going to the South Carolina beach,

or sailing in the Gulf of Maine,

or hiking in the Rocky Mountains,

or catching the first MLB game in Iowa,

be on the lookout for lightning!