Tornado in Maryland

July 24th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with surface station identifiers plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with surface station identifiers plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *

An isolated thunderstorm that was moving eastward across Maryland just after Midnight on 24 July 2017 intensified as it crossed Chesapeake Bay, eventually producing a waterspout which moved onshore near Bay City (just southwest of Stevensville/Bay Bridge Airport, station identifier KW29) — this tornado was responsible for 1 injury and EF2-rated damage (NWS Mount Holly PNS  | SPC storm reports). GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above; also available as a 23-Mbyte animated GIF) showed that there were 3 distinct “pulses” when cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures cooled to the -71 to -75º C range (lighter gray pixels embedded within dark black regions) before the storm produced the tornado at 0529 UTC. Since one of the default GOES-16 Mesoscale Sectors was providing coverage over the eastern US, imagery was available at 1-minute intervals.

A comparison of 1-minute GOES-16 vs 15-minute GOES-13 (GOES-East) Infrared Window images (below; also available as a 17-Mbyte animated GIF) provided a convincing demonstration of the value of more frequent image scan intervals for monitoring severe convection. The improved spatial resolution of GOES-16 Infrared imagery — 2 km at satellite sub-point, vs 4 km for GOES-13 — also allowed for a more accurate depiction of cloud-top IR brightness temperature patterns and values.

1-minute GOES-16 (10.3 µm, left) vs 15-minute GOES-13 (10.7 µm, right) Infrared Window images [click to play MP4 animation]

1-minute GOES-16 (10.3 µm, left) vs 15-minute GOES-13 (10.7 µm, right) Infrared Window images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 GLM data now available in RealEarth™

July 21st, 2017 |

GOES-16 Infrared Window (103 µm) images, with GLM Group data points plotted as white dots [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with GLM Group data points plotted as white dots [click to play animation]

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *

Real-time GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data are now available for viewing using RealEarth™ (real-time GLM link). An example from 21 July 2017 is shown above, for an isolated thunderstorm that developed during the afternoon hours along a residual convective outflow boundary — which was evident on an animation of “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) imagery — draped across eastern Iowa. This storm produced 1.0-inch diameter hail and damaging winds within 7-22 minutes after the 2200 UTC end of the animation (SPC storm reports).  Both the GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images and the GLM Group (GLM Events clustered by proximity; see this blog post) data points were available at 1-minute intervals, since the region was within the domain of one of the Mesoscale Sectors.

Note that during the early portion of the animation, a number of GLM Group points were located south of the rapidly-expanding cold cloud top shield — GLM data are parallax-corrected, assuming a cloud-top height of 12.5 km. The 18 UTC tropopause height was 15.0 km on the 18 UTC sounding at Davenport, Iowa.

Midwest derecho

July 19th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *

A long-lived mesoscale convective system (MCS) known as a derecho produced swath of damaging winds — as well as some large hail and a couple of tornadoes — that stretched from north-central South Dakota to northwestern Indiana on 19 July 2017 (SPC storm reports | TWC summary). GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the southeastward propagation of the storm system.

Closer views of the early stages of the derecho as it moved across central and eastern South Dakota are shown below, using GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images. The highest measured wind gust was 100 mph near Polo (1522 UTC), with 83 mph recorded at Huron (1636 and 1730 UTC). Hail of 2.50 inches in diameter fell near Cavour (1703 UTC). Note that most of the severe reports were in the general vicinity of the persistent cold overshooting top (black to white enhancement) seen on the Infrared imagery; due to parallax, the apparent location of this storm-top feature was shifted slightly north of its true location.

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with SPC storm reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

1-km resolution Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images at (below) showed the MCS over the Huron (KHON) area at 1656 UTC. Since there is minimal parallax associated with polar-orbiter satellite imagery, the cluster of SPC storm reports (occurring within +/- 30 minutes of the time of the MODIS image) was much closer to the cold (-70 to -73º C, lighter gray enhancement) overshooting top. Another feature of interest seen on the Infrared image was a “warm trench” (exhibiting brightness temperatures as warm as -60º C, red enhancement) immediately surrounding the cold overshooting top — perhaps a result of compensating subsidence?

Terra MODIS Visible and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Visible and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

375-meter resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1846 UTC (below) provided a detailed view of the MCS as it was centered near the South Dakota / Minnesota border. The coldest cloud-top IR brightness temperature was -83º C (violet enhancement).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to enlarge]

Tropical Storm Don

July 18th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *

On 17 July Tropical Storm Don became the 4th named storm of the 2017 North Atlantic Basin season. The satellite presentation improved somewhat on 18 July, with GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) displaying a few brief convective bursts (some of which exhibited cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of -80º C  and colder).

A GOES-13 (GOES-East) Infrared Window (10.7 µm) image at 1845 UTC  with overlays of the Tropical Overshooting Tops and  Deep-Layer Winds products from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site is shown below.

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with Tropical Overshooting Top and Deep-Layer Wind Shear products [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with Tropical Overshooting Top and Deep-Layer Wind Shear products [click to enlarge]