Severe thunderstorms in Texas and Oklahoma

May 20th, 2019 |

GOES-16

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

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed the development of widespread thunderstorms that produced tornadoes, large hail (up to 5.5 inches in diameter in Texas) and damaging winds (as high as 94 mph in Oklahoma) (SPC storm reports) across parts of Texas and Oklahoma on 20 May 2019.

The corresponding GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below) indicated that cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were frequently as cold as -70 to -80ºC (black to white to violet enhancement) with the more vigorous thunderstorms.

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

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

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

Zoomed-in versions of the Visible images (above) and Infrared images (below) are centered at Childress, Texas — which provide a better view of the storms which produced the 5.5-inch hail (Visible | Infrared) at Wellington, Texas and the large tornado near Magnum, Oklahoma (Visible | Infrared | YouTube video).

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play MP4 animation]

One interesting aspect of this line of deep convection: it was effectively acting as an obstacle to the upstream southwesterly flow, resulting in the formation of a quasi-stationary band of gravity waves along its western edge — these waves were very evident in GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (below).

GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Split Window Difference (10.3-12.3 µm) images (below) displayed the yellow signature of blowing dust in the vicinity of a cold front that was moving eastward across southeastern New Mexico and southwestern Texas. Blowing dust restricted surface visibility to 3 miles or less at El Paso in Texas and at Alamagordo and Artesia in New Mexico.

GOES-16 Split Window Difference (10.3-12.3 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Split Window Difference (10.3-12.3 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

During the subsequent overnight hours, these thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall from northern Oklahoma into southern Kansas, causing flash flooding — and flooding from rising rivers across that region on the following day were captured by the Suomi NPP VIIRS Flood Detection Product (below).

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images, along with the Flood Detection Product [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images, along with the Flood Detection Product [click to enlarge]

The river flooding in northern/northwestern Oklahoma was also evident in a before/after comparison of Terra MODIS False Color RGB images from 15 May and 21 May (below). Water appears as darker shades of blue in the False Color images.

Terra MODIS False Color RGB images over northern Oklahoma on 15 May and 21 May [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS False Color RGB images over northern Oklahoma on 15 May and 21 May [click to enlarge]

Flooding in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota

April 22nd, 2019 |

Landsat-8 False Color RGB image and GOES-16 Flood Detection product [click to enlarge]

Google Maps background, Landsat-8 False Color RGB image and GOES-16 ABI Flood Detection product [click to enlarge]

Comparison of a Landsat-8 False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) image with the corresponding GOES-16 ABI Flood Detection product as viewed using RealEarth (above) showed the extent of flooding along the Red River of the North (which forms the border of North Dakota and Minnesota, and flows northward into Manitoba) on 22 April 2019. The Red River flooding was a result of a relatively rapid Spring snow melt — a significant Winter snow cover across eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota reached a peak in early March.

The Flood Detection product — originally developed for use with Suomi NPP VIIRS data, but adapted for use with GOES-16 ABI data — provides an estimate of land fractions with flooding water (green to yellow to red shades) along with regions of ice, snow cover, cloud and shadows. In the example above, much of Devils Lake in the southwest portion of the satellite scene was classified as ice (cyan), as the melting of winter ice was still in progress.

A closer view of the Landsat-8 False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) image and the corresponding GOES-16 ABI Flood Detection product for a portion of the Red River is shown below — the level of the Red River at Oslo, Minnesota was over 37 feet (hydrograph), at which point ND State Highway 54 has water over the road, MN State Highway 1 overtops and water affects the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks west of Oslo.

Google Maps background, Landsat-8 False Color RGB image and GOES-16 Flood Detection product [click to enlarge]

Google Maps background, Landsat-8 False Color RGB image and GOES-16 ABI Flood Detection product [click to enlarge]

Farther to the south, Landsat-8 False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) imagery along with the corresponding Suomi NPP VIIRS and GOES-16 ABI Flood Detection products over part of the James River (and upstream reservoirs) in northeastern South Dakota is shown below. Note that the higher spatial resolution of the VIIRS product (375 meters) indicated higher fractions of land with flooding water — up to 90% (red) compared to 60% (orange) with the ABI product.

Google Maps background, Landsat-8 False Color RGB image,and Suomi NPP VIIRS + GOES-16 Flood Detection products [click to enlarge]

Google Maps background, Landsat-8 False Color RGB image, and Suomi NPP VIIRS + GOES-16 Flood Detection products [click to enlarge]

Flooding in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa

March 15th, 2019 |

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images (above) revealed widespread river flooding (in the wake of rapid snow melt and heavy rainfall) across parts of southeastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska and western/central Iowa on 15 March 2019. Water and flooded land appear as darkest shades of gray to black on both sets of images —  remaining snow cover also appeared as darker shades on the 1.61 µm imagery. Additional information regarding the flooding is available from NWS Sioux Falls

In a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images at 1821 UTC (below),1.61 µm imagery showed the darker shades of flooding over a north/south portion of Interstate 29 that was closed from State Highway 34 (west of Glenwood, Iowa) to the Iowa/Missouri border (south of Hamburg, Iowa).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Near-Infrared "Vegetation" (0.86 µm) and "Snow/Ice" (1.61 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images; Interstate Highways are plotted in red, while State Highways are plotted in gray [click to enlarge]

Comparisons of Terra MODIS True Color and False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images at 1720 UTC viewed using RealEarth are shown below. In the False color imagery, snow cover appears as lighter shades of cyan, while water appears as darker shades of blue.

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images, centered over eastern Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images, centered near Vermillion, South Dakota [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images, centered near Vermillion, South Dakota [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images, centered near Ames, Iowa [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images, centered near Ames, Iowa [click to enlarge]

===== 16 March Update =====

Landsat-8 False Color image. centered to the east of Sioux City, Iowa [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color image centered to the east of Sioux City, Iowa [click to enlarge]

An overpass of the Landsat-8 satellite at 1706 UTC on 16 March provided 30-meter resolution False Color imagery — 2 sections of the swath are shown above and below. The RealEarth link to interactively view the image is here.

Landsat-8 False Color image. centered to the south of Omaha, Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color image centered to the south of Omaha, Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Closer views centered at the NWS Omaha forecast office (which had to be evacuated due to flooding) and just west of Offutt Air Force Base (about one-third of which was under water) are shown below.

Landsat-8 False Color image. centered at the NWS forecast office in Valley, Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color image centered at the NWS forecast office in Valley, Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color image. centered near Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color image centered just west of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska [click to enlarge]



River flooding in the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee River Valley

February 24th, 2019 |

30-day Precipitation and Percent of Normal Precipitation [click to enlarge]

30-day Precipitation and Percent of Normal Precipitation [click to enlarge]

A toggle between Observed Precipitation and Percent of Normal Precipitation for the 30-day period ending at 12 UTC on 24 February 2019 (above) showed a large area that received 10-15 inches of rainfall — which was 200-400% of normal — across the Lower Mississippi River and Tennessee River Valleys.

A before/after comparison of Terra MODIS False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from 25 January and 24 February 2019 (below) revealed the extensive area of flooding that resulted. Flooded areas appear as varying shades of blue on the False Color imagery (source).

Terra MODIS False Color RGB images from 25 January and 24 February 2019 [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS False Color RGB images from 25 January and 24 February 2019 [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images from 24 February (below), many of the flooded rivers exhibit a tan-colored appearance in the True Color image due to large amounts of sediment suspended in the water.

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images from 24 February [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images from 24 February [click to enlarge]

A Flood Map derived using NOAA-20 VIIRS data (below) quantitatively showed the extent of the flooding. CIMSS scientists Jay Hoffman and William Straka contributed to the development of this food monitoring product.

NOAA-20 VIIRS Flood Map [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Flood Map [click to enlarge]