Alberto

May 25th, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Band 10 (7.34 µm, low-level water vapor) Infrared imagery, 0822-1632 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

The National Hurricane Center has assigned the name ‘Alberto’ to region of low pressure that has persisted near the northwest Caribbean Sea for the past week. The low-level water vapor (7.34 µm) animation, above, shows abundant mid-tropospheric moisture to the east of the system. Dryer mid-level conditions are apparent west of Alberto: the storm structure is very asymmetric. Sheared systems such as this one typically do not strengthen quickly.

A plot of shear (from this site), below, shows Alberto in a region of westerly shear, with a forecast path towards a region that currently has higher shear — part of which is outflow. However, forecast models suggest the shear along the forecast path will decrease with time.  Sea-surface temperatures are warm enough to support tropical cyclones, and the forecast path is towards warmer waters.

Shear Analysis and Satellite imagery at 1500 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Visible imagery, below, shows one low-level circulation center (others may be masked by the convection to the east) that is south and west of the main convection over the Caribbean.

GOES-16 ABI Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery, 1137-1642 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Suomi-NPP overflew this region at 0723 UTC, and a toggle between the Window Channel Infrared (11.45 µm) and the Day Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) imagery (courtesy William Straka) is shown below. The low-level circulation is apparent in the Day Night Band to the west of the deep convection over the northwest Caribbean.

Suomi-NPP VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) and Day Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) Imagery at 0735 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Total Precipitable Water, 1600 UTC on 24 May 2018 to 15 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

A MIMIC Total Precipitable Water animation, above, shows abundant moisture over the northwest Caribbean. As Alberto lifts to the north, that moisture will shift north as well, and flooding rains are possible over the southeastern United States. Flood Watches have been raised over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia (below, from this site).

Hazards at 1700 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) on GOES-16 observed lightning in the deep convection to the east of the system center. GLM is overlain on both infrared (top) and visible (bottom) imagery below (animations courtesy Dave Santek, CIMSS). The updating infrared animations are available here. GLM data for this system can also be viewed in RealEarth.

GOES-16 Infrared (10.3 µm) Imagery over Alberto at 5-minute time-steps, 1747 – 1832 UTC,  along with GLM observations of group density plotted every minute (See legend in image for times of GLM plots) (Click to enlarge)

GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) Imagery over Alberto at 5-minute time-steps, 1747 – 1832 UTC, along with GLM observations of group density plotted every minute (See legend in image for times of GLM plots) (Click to enlarge)

Updates on this system are sent every six hours from the National Hurricane Center. You can find more information there, or at the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Strong Thunderstorms move through Washington DC.

May 14th, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Channel 13 “Clean Window” (10.3 µm) at 1-minute time-steps from 1607-2359 UTC on 14 May 2018 (Click to animate)

A GOES-16 Mesoscale Sector produced 1-minute imagery as a strong thunderstorm complex approached Washington DC late in the afternoon/early evening of 14 May 2018.  The (150-megabyte (!!)) animated gif above shows overshooting tops quickly developing and decaying as the complex moved over the Potomac Basin.  Winds in excess of 60 knots were reported around the Washington DC metropolitan area, with widespread tree damage. (Smaller MP4 animations with plots of SPC storm reports are also available: Infrared | Visible)

NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere All Hazards (Source), below, showed very high ProbHail and ProbWind with this cell as it approached Washington DC.

NOAA/CIMSS ProbSevere All Hazards, 2200 UTC on 14 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data from Real Earth (Link for animation), below, shows an increase in electrical activity to the storms as they moved through Washington DC.

CONUS Hybrid Radar Reflectivity overlain with GLM observations, 2200-2330 UTC 14 May 2018 with 15-minute timestep.

Heavy snow across southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin

April 18th, 2018 |

24-hour snowfall ending at 12 UTC on 19 April [click to enlarge]

24-hour snowfall ending at 12 UTC on 19 April [click to enlarge]

The map above shows a band of heavy snow that fell across southern Minnesota (as much as 11.0 inches), northern Iowa (as much as 12.0 inches) and southern Wisconsin (as much as 9.4 inches) on 18 April 2018.

Animations of 1-minute Mesoscale Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) and “Low-level” Water Vapor (7.3 µm) images (below) showed the formation of convective elements and banding along the southern edge of the colder cloud shield — snowfall rates were enhanced when these convective features moved overhead, and thundersnow was noted at some locations in northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with hourly surface weather type plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with hourly surface weather type plotted in yellow [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Low=level” Water Vapor (7.3 µm) images, with hourly surface weather type plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

In south-central Wisconsin, Madison (KMSN) received 7.2 inches of snowfall, which set a new record for daily snowfall (and helped to make April the snowiest month of the 2017/2018 winter seeason). In addition, the daily maximum temperature was only 33 ºF, which was a record low maximum for the date. Over the southwestern part of the city, a cluster of GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) Groups was detected from 1918 to 1919 UTC (below; courtesy of Dave Santek, SSEC) — the GOES-16 Visible image at that time did display a textured cloud top appearance characteristic of embedded convection across southern Wisconsin.

GOES-16 GLM Groups [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 GLM Groups [click to enlarge]

===== 20 April Update =====

GOES-16 true-color (daytime) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, nighttime) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 natural-color RGB (daytime) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm, nighttime) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A fast animation of GOES-16 natural-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images (above) revealed the rapid rate of snow melt — especially on 19 April — along the southern edge of the snow cover (where lighter amounts of snow fell). The effect of the high late-April sun angle also played a role in the rapid snow melt.

Using GLM data to monitor convective development

March 15th, 2018 |

GOES-16 Band 13 (10.3) “Clean Window” Infrared Imagery, 0815-1400 UTC, and GLM Group Density.

Strong convection developed on 15 March over the Pampas of Argentina and Uruguay, as shown above. Full Disk imagery is available only every 15 minutes, and considerable convective development is possible during the 15 minutes between scans. If a Mesoscale sector with 1-minute imagery is not over convection, Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data from GOES-16 can be used to monitor convection during the time interval between Full Disk Scans: GLM updates every minute. The 18-minute animation below (from Real Earth) includes 3 Full-Disk images and every-minute updates of GLM Group Density. Group Density between 0700-0715 shows no sign of diminishing.  It should not surprise that cloud-tops continue to expand and cool when the 0715 UTC ABI Imagery appears at the end of the loop.

Note:  When GOES-16 or GOES-17 (GOES-S achieved Geostationary Orbit on 12 March and became GOES-17) are operating under Mode 6 (vs. the present-day Mode 3), Full Disk imagery will be available every ten minutes vs. current fifteen minutes.

GOES-16 Band 13 (10.3) “Clean Window” Infrared Imagery, and GLM Group Density 0658-0717 UTC.