Severe thunderstorms in Argentina

December 10th, 2018 |

GOES-16

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

A comparison of GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the development of thunderstorms well ahead of a cold front (surface analyses) that was moving northward across central Argentina on 10 December 2018. A Mesoscale Domain Sector had been positioned over that region in support of the RELAMPAGO-CACTI field experiment IOP15, providing imagery at 1-minute intervals. The northernmost storm (of a cluster of 3) featured a very pronounced overshooting top that was seen for several hours, briefly exhibiting infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -80ºC (violet enhancement) at 2133 UTC and 2134 UTC. Also noteworthy was the long-lived “warm trench” (arc of yellow enhancement) immediately downwind of the persistent cold overshooting top.

Plots of GOES-16 GLM Groups on the Visible and Infrared images (below) showed a good deal of lightning activity with this convection — especially in the leading anvil region east of the storm core. However, it is interesting to point out that there was a general lack of satellite-detected lightning directly over the large and persistent overshooting top. The GLM Groups were plotted with the default parallax correction removed, so the optical emissions of the lightning aligned with cloud-top features as seen on the ABI imagery.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm, top) with GLM Groups and "Clean" Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top) with GLM Groups and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images [click to play MP4 animation]

A similar comparison of GOES-16 Visible and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images (below) helped to highlight the formation of multiple Above-Anvil Cirrus Plume (AACP) features, which are signatures of thunderstorms that are producing (or could soon be producing) severe weather such as tornadoes, large hail or damaging winds. The appearance of gravity waves upshear (west) of the overshooting top was also very apparent.

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

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

Plot of severe weather reports [click to enlarge]

Plot of severe weather reports [click to enlarge]

There were several reports of hail with these particular thunderstorms (above), concentrated in the area between 35-36º S latitude and 62-65º W longitude. GOES-16 Visible images (below) showed this was the area under the path of the more northern storm with the prolonged overshooting top and the prominent AACP. This convection produced very large hail in Ingeniero Luiggi and General Villegas (located at 35.5º S, 64.5º W and 35º S, 63º W respectively) — see the tweets below for photos. On a side note, the large overshooting top began to take on an unusual darker gray appearance after 2230 UTC, possibly suggesting that boundary layer dust or particulate matter was being lofted to the cloud top by the very intense and long-lived updraft — the 18 UTC surface analysis showed that sites northwest of and south of the developing storms were reporting blowing dust.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Additional GOES-16 animations of these storms can be found on the Satellite Liaison Blog.

A zoom-in of NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) imagery at 1835 UTC viewed using RealEarth  (below) showed the 3 discrete thunderstorms in the vicinity of Santa Rosa.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image at 1835 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image at 1835 UTC [click to enlarge]

A toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC (below) revealed the cold overshooting tops associated with each of the 3 thunderstorms. Also note the swath of wet soil in the wake of the southern storm, which appears darker in the True Color image and cooler (lighter shades of gray) in the Infrared image.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC [click to enlarge]

A toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC on 10 December and 0555 UTC on 11 December (below) showed the upscale growth into a large Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) that moved northeastward (eventually producing flooding in Rosario).

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC on 10 December and 0555UTC on 11 December [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1835 UTC on 10 December and 0555 UTC on 11 December [click to enlarge]


===== 11 December Update =====

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

On the following day, GOES-16 Visible images (above) showed that additional severe thunderstorms developed across northern Argentina, in the general vicinity of a stationary front (surface analyses) east of Cordoba (SACO). Plots of GLM Groups (below) indicated that these storms produced a great deal of lightning.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images, with GLM Groups plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with GLM Groups plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation]

The corresponding GOES-16 Infrared images, with and without plots of GLM Groups, are shown below. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were frequently colder than -80ºC, even reaching -90ºC (yellow pixels embedded within darker purple areas) from 1946, 1947 and 1948 UTC.

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with GLM Groups plotted cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with GLM Groups plotted cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

A NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image (below) showed the cluster of thunderstorms east of Cordoba at 1817 UTC.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image at 1817 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image at 1817 UTC [click to enlarge]

A toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1817 UTC (below) showed the easternmost storm which produced a tornado at Santa Elena.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1817 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1817 UTC [click to enlarge]



Hurricane Florence

September 9th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) iimages [click to play MP4 animation]

After previously weakening from a Category 4 hurricane (on 04 September) to a tropical storm on 07 September (track/intensity), Florence re-intensified to become a Category 1 hurricane at 15 UTC on 09 September 2018. 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.63 µm) are shown above, with the corresponding “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images shown below. An eye structure appeared for brief intervals during the day, but was often masked by cloud debris from a series of convective bursts within the surrounding eyewall.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1811 UTC [click to enlarge]

GPM GMI Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1811 UTC [click to enlarge]

GPM GMI (above) and DMSP-16 SSMIS (below) Microwave (85 GHz) images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site revealed that the eye was still partially open at 1811 UTC and 1945 UTC.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1845 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1845 UTC [click to enlarge]

===== 10 September Update =====

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with GLM Group lightning [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 GLM lightning Groups (aggregates of GLM lightning Events) are plotted on “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below), courtesy of Dave Santek, SSEC.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images, with GLM Group lightning [click to enlarge]

Overlapping GOES-16 and GOES-17 Mesoscale Domain Sectors were positioned over Hurricane Florence beginning at 1200 UTC (providing imagery at 30-second intervals) — Visible animations are shown below.

* GOES-17 images shown here are preliminary and non-operational *

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-17

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

Longer animations of 30-second GOES-16 Visible and Infrared images viewed using AWIPS (below) provided a better view of  the mesovortices within the eye. Florence rapidly intensified (ADT | SATCON) to a Category 4 hurricane during this period.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

One particularly large mesovortex rotated around the eastern edge of the eye after 2100 UTC, significantly eroding the eyewall (below).

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

Later in the early evening hours, GOES-16 Infrared imagery (below) showed an area of pronounced cloud-top warming and a thinning of cloud material just south of the eyewall, as Florence began to undergo an eyewall replacement cycle.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

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.