Cold air over the Upper Midwest

December 11th, 2019 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with select minimum temperatures as of 12 UTC [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed pockets of cold surface brightness temperatures — darker blue represented the -30 to -35ºC (-22 to -31ºF) range — over parts of North Dakota during the 4 hours leading up to sunrise on 10 December 2019. As of 12 UTC, the coldest locations in the US (including Alaska) were Rugby and Watford City, North Dakota with -22ºF; however, Grand Forks International Airport later dropped to -25ºF at 1245 UTC.

With the cold and dry arctic air mass in place across the Upper Midwest, GOES-16 Low-level    (7.3 µm) and Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor imagery (below) was able to sense the thermal contrast between cold, snow-covered land surfaces and the still-unfrozen reservoirs along the Missouri River in North Dakota and South Dakota.

 GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm) and Mid-level (6.9 µm) images, with rawinsonde sites indicated in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm) and Mid-level (6.9 µm) images, with rawinsonde sites indicated in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Water Vapor weighting functions calculated using 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Aberdeen, SD (below) showed the downward shift of the peak pressures for all 3 spectral bands — with some contributions of radiation originating from the surface indicated for both the 7.3 µm and 6.9 µm bands.

GOES-16 Water Vapor weighting functions calculated using 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Aberdeen, SD [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Water Vapor weighting functions calculated using 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Aberdeen, SD [click to enlarge]

According to the climatology of Precipitable Water for Aberdeen, SD (below), the 12 UTC value of 0.06 inch tied the record minimum value for that date/time.

Climatology of Precipitable Water for Aberdeen, SD [click to enlarge]

Climatology of Precipitable Water for Aberdeen, SD [click to enlarge]

Examples of “river effect” cloud plumes — produced by cold air flowing across deep, relatively warm Missouri River reservoir water — were evident in GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images over North Dakota and South Dakota (below).

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Examples of “river effect” cloud plumes — produced by cold air flowing across deep, relatively warm Missouri River reservoir water — were evident in GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images over North Dakota (above) and South Dakota (below).

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared "Snow/Ice" (1.61 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Typhoon Kammuri makes landfall in the Philippines

December 2nd, 2019 |

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

2.5-minute interval rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 AHI “Clean” Infrared (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Typhoon Kammuri as it made landfall in the Philippines around 1500 UTC on 02 December 2019. Kammuri rapidly intensified from a Category 2 to a Category 4 storm (ADT | SATCON) shortly before landfall — it had been moving over very warm water (Sea Surface Temperature | Ocean Heat Content) in the Philippine Sea.

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) from Suomi NPP at 1707 UTC and NOAA-20 at 1757 UTC viewed using RealEarth (below) depicted Kammuri 2-3 hours after landfall.

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) from Suomi NPP at 1707 UTC and NOAA-20 at 1757 UTC [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) from Suomi NPP at 1707 UTC and NOAA-20 at 1757 UTC [click to enlarge]

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (85 GHz) imagery at 1725 UTC (below) revealed a large eye and nearly circular eyewall.

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1725 UTC [click to enlarge]

GCOM-W1 AMSR2 Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1725 UTC [click to enlarge]

Typhoon Kammuri in the West Pacific Ocean, with record cold cloud-top temperatures

November 30th, 2019 |

Himawari-8 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

2.5-minute interval JMA Himawari-8 AHI “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed a large canopy of cold cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures (BTs) associated with Category 1 Typhoon Kammuri in the West Pacific Ocean on 30 November 2019. Between 00 UTC and 05 UTC, many of the pulsing overshooting tops exhibited BTs -100ºC or colder (shades of red embedded in black on the coldest end of the scale). — the coldest BT was -103.55ºC at 02:59:44 UTC.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0421 UTC as viewed using RealEarth (below) revealed an area of very cold cloud-top infrared BTs (highlighted by the yellow region near the center of the storm). The coldest BT within that yellow area was -109.35ºC — which would qualify as the coldest cloud-top temperature on record as sensed by a meteorological satellite (Weather Underground).

 NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0420 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0421 UTC [click to enlarge]

The NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared image at 0421 UTC is shown below with 2 different color enhancements — the darker blue colors of the 160-to-200 K enhancement help to highlight the colder BT regions (including the coldest 163.8 K or -109.35ºC pixel).

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm), with different color enhancements (credit: William Straka) [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) image at 0421 UTC, with 2 different color enhancements (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

On the closest (time-wise) Himawari-8 Infrared image at 04:22:15 UTC, the coldest cloud-top BT was -102.5ºC. In a toggle between magnified Himawari-8 Visible and Infrared images at that time (below), the -102.5ºC BT was located within the northernmost cluster of red pixels (where shadowing and texture in the Visible image highlighted the overshooting top).

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared (10.4 µm) images at 0422 UTC [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared (10.4 µm) images at 0422 UTC [click to enlarge]

The nearest upper air site was Babelthuop Airport/Koror on Palau Island, located south of the storm — the coldest temperature in their 00 UTC rawinsonde data (below) was -81.9ºC at an altitude of 16.7 km. Assuming that the overshooting top cooled at a lapse rate of around 7.5ºC per km of ascent beyond the -81.9ºC tropopause (reference), the altitude of the coldest -109.35ºC cloud top was likely near 19.5 km.

Plots of 00 UTC and 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Koror, Palau Island [click to enlarge]

Plots of 00 UTC and 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Koror, Palau Island [click to enlarge]

During the daylight hours on 30 November, Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) revealed widespread cloud-top gravity waves which were moving outward away from intense convection with overshooting tops near the storm center. Many of these gravity waves were propagating along the tops of tendrils of transverse banding — especially within the southern semicircle of Kammuri.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

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Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1604 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1604 UTC (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP at 1604 UTC (above) and NOAA-20 at 1654 UTC (below) showed mesospheric airglow waves propagating southward in the DNB images.

NOAA-20 Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1654 UTC (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1654 UTC (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

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6.9 µm) images, with contours of Deep-Layer Wind Shear [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images, with contours of Deep-Layer Wind Shear [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images with contours of Deep-Layer Wind Shear (above) indicated that Kammuri was moving through an environment of low to moderate shear. Himawari-8 Water Vapor images with plots of satellite-derived Atmospheric Motion Vectors (below) showed a well-defined outflow channel north of the tropical cyclone.

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images, with Derived Motion Winds [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images, with plots of Derived Motion Winds [click to enlarge]


Himawari-8 (courtesy JMA) and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A (courtesy KMA) visible imagery were combined to create stereoscopic imagery of the storm on 30 November, as shown below from 0000 to 0800 UTC (with missing data between 0100 and 0400 UTC).  View the 3-dimensional image by crossing your eyes and focusing on the third image that becomes apparent in between the two images shown.

Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery from Himawari-8 (left) and GK2A (right) from 0000 to 0800 UTC on 30 November 2019 (Click to animate)

Bomb cyclone makes landfall along the Oregon/California coast

November 26th, 2019 |

GOES-17 Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images, with 3-hourly plots of surface fronts [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images, with surface fronts plotted in cyan and buoy locations plotted in red [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of GOES-17 (GOES-West) Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (above) showed the evolution of a bomb cyclone (surface analyses: WPC | OPC) that made landfall along the Oregon/California coast just after sunset on 26 November 2019. The storm produced wind gusts of 106 mph in southwestern Oregon and 70 mph in northwestern California.

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images of the storm are shown below — the Mean Sea Level Pressure anomaly was 4-5 sigma below the climatological mean as the rapidly-deepening midlatitude cyclone made landfall. Similarly, 925 hPa wind speed anomaly was 3-5 sigma above the climatological mean. The system had transitioned to a warm seclusion phase by 00 UTC, as seen in a comparison of Visible and Water Vapor images at that time.

GOES-17 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images, with 3-hourly plots of surface fronts [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with surface fronts plotted in cyan and buoy locations plotted in red [click to play animation | MP4]

A GOES-17 Mesoscale Domain Sector was positioned over the region, providing Visible images at 1-minute intervals (below).

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface wind barbs and gusts in knots [click to play animation | MP4]

A larger-scale view of the entire GOES-17 Mesoscale Domain Sector is shown below, using Visible images from the AOS site.

GOES-17 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

1-km resolution NOAA-15 AVHRR Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) imagery at 0217 UTC (below) showed the center of circulation just off the Oregon/California coast. At that time, winds were gusting to 50 knots at Crescent City, California (KCEC).

NOAA-15 AVHRR Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) image at 0217 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-15 AVHRR Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) image at 0217 UTC, with plots of 02 UTC surface reports (cyan/yellow) and wind gusts (in knots, red) [click to enlarge]

A time series of surface data from Crescent City, California (below) showed the period when the air pressure dropped to 973.4 hPa (28.74 inches) — setting a new all-time low pressure record for the state of California. In addition, new low pressure records for the month of November were set at Medford, Oregon (981.4 hPa / 28.98 inches) and at Eureka, California (984.8 hPa / 29.08 inches).

Time series of surface data at Crescent City, California [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface data at Crescent City, California [click to enlarge]

Air pressure at the offshore buoy 8 miles NW of Crescent City (46027) dropped to 971.7 hPa (28.69 inches) at 0350 UTC (below).

Plots of Wind Speed (blue), Wind Gust (red) and Air Pressure (green) from Buoy 46027

Plots of Wind Speed (blue), Wind Gust (red) and Air Pressure (green) from Buoy 46027