Smoke plumes from Saudi Arabian oil facilities

September 15th, 2019 |

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Visible (0.64 µm) imagery from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Visible (0.64 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Visible (0.64 µm) imagery from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (above) revealed dark smoke plumes from oil refineries and other facilities damaged by drone strikes early in the day on 14 September 2019.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images (below) showed the south-southwestward transport of the smoke plumes. Thick smoke drifted over Al Ahsa (OEAH), and at one point restricted to 2.8 miles.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Before (13 September) and after (14-15 September) True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS as viewed using RealEarth are shown below.

True Color RGB images from Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS, from 13-15 September [click to enlarge]

True Color RGB images from Terra MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS, from 13-15 September [click to enlarge]

A sequence of 3 VIIRS Day/Night Band images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (below) showed nighttime views of the smoke plumes, illuminated by the Moon (which was in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 98% of Full).

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (courtesy of William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

A Meteosat-8 Visible animation spanning portions of 14, 15 and 16 September is shown below.

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Visible (0.8 µm) images with hourly plots of surface reports, 14-16 September [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 17 September Update =====

Landsat-8 False Color image [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

A 30-meter resolution Landsat-8 False Color RGB image (above) showed a number of smoke plumes from oil facility fires that continued to burn on 17 September.

Dorian moves across the Maritime Provinces of Canada

September 8th, 2019 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed Hurricane Dorian as it briefly intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 2 storm during the morning of 07 September 2019. Later in the day, Dorian transitioned to a post-tropical storm before making landfall over Nova Scotia around 2215 UTC. Due to high amounts of  deep-layer wind shear, the low-level circulation center of Dorian remained exposed while deep convection remained to its north and northeast. The eye of Dorian moved over Buoy 44011, which recorded a wind gust to 82 knots; in western Nova Scotia, winds gusted to 70 knots at Yarmouth.

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 as visualized using RealEarth (above) revealed a brighter region exhibiting a somewhat hazy appearance within the cloud-free slot southwest of the eye during the 16-17 UTC period. This could have been a signature of diffuse solar reflection off highly-agitated ocean waves — a NHC discussion noted strong Metop-B ASCAT winds of 80 knots or higher in that area around 15 UTC (below).

Metop-B ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

Metop-B ASCAT winds [click to enlarge]

On the following day, Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color and Infrared  images (below) showed Post-Tropical Cyclone Dorian when its center was over the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Wind gusts included 68 knots at Heath Point, Quebec (CWHP) and 57 knots at Deer Lake, Newfoundland (CYDF).

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]


Hurricane Dorian off the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina

September 5th, 2019 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed Hurricane Dorian off the coast of South Carolina from 1116-1900 UTC on 05 September 2019. During this period, Dorian weakened from a Category 3 to a Category 2 hurricane — a plot of deep-layer wind shear from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) showed that the storm was moving into an environment of increasingly unfavorable shear.

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 19 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with an overlay of deep-layer wind shear at 19 UTC [click to enlarge]

Dorian’s eye passed directly over EDISTO Buoy 41004; a combined plot of wind speed, wind gust, and air pressure is shown below.  Across the region, peak wind gusts were 98 mph and rainfall was as high as 10.19 inches.

Plot of wind speed (blue), wind gust (red) and air pressure (green) for Buoy 41004

Plot of wind speed (blue), wind gust (red) and air pressure (green) for Buoy 41004

A sequence of VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 as viewed using RealEarth are shown below.

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

===== 06 September Update =====

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Dorian made landfall on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina around 1235 UTC on 06 September — 1-minute GOES-16 Infrared images (above) showed the eye moving northeastward across the Outer Banks. Peak wind gusts were as high as 110 mph, with rainfall amounts up to 13.74″.

Hurricane Dorian reaches Category 5 intensity

September 1st, 2019 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Overlapping 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sectors provided GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images at 30-second intervals (above) as Hurricane Dorian reached Category 5 intensity just east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas during the morning hours on 01 September 2019. West of Dorian, station Identifier MYGF is Freeport on Grand Bahama Island (which stopped reporting at 00 UTC on 01 September, due to evacuation).

As noted in the 15 UTC NHC discussion, the eye of Dorian was exhibiting a pronounced “stadium effect”, with a smaller-diameter surface eye sloping outward with increasing altitude (below).

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images at 1200 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images at 1200 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Visible images with and without overlays of GLM Flash Extent Density (below) revealed that lightning activity began to ramp up within the eyewall region after 12 UTC.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with and without overlays of GLM Flash Extent Density [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with and without overlays of GLM Flash Extent Density [click to play animation | MP4]

A Mid-Level Wind Shear product (below) showed that Dorian had been moving through an environment of low shear — generally 10 knots or less — during the 00-15 UTC time period on 01 September.

Mid-layer Wind Shear product, 00-15 UTC [click to enlarge]

Mid-layer Wind Shear product, 00-15 UTC [click to enlarge]


As pointed out by NWS Grand Forks (above), portions of the outer cays just east of Great Abaco Island could be seen in GOES-16 Visible imagery through breaks in the low-level clouds within the eye (below).

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

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

VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 as viewed using RealEarth are shown below, as the eye was moving over Great Abaco Island.

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]


After moving slowly westward across Great Abaco Island, Dorian later became the first Category 5 hurricane on record to make landfall on Grand Bahama Island (below). Station identifier MYGF is Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport, and MYGW is West End Airport.

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 02 September Update =====

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Prior to sunrise on 02 September, 1-minute GOES-16 Infrared images (above) showed Dorian moving very slowly — with a forward speed of only 1 mph — across the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island (as it remained at Category 5 intensity).

After sunrise, 1-minute GOES-16 Visible and Infrared images (below) showed that the eye of Dorian was finally beginning to move very slowly northwestward away from Grand Bahama Island. At the end of the animation (15 UTC), Dorian was downgraded slightly to a high-end Category 4 hurricane.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared images (below) provided a view of Dorian at 1817 UTC.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

At 21 UTC, a comparison of MIMIC Total Precipitable Water and DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave images (below) suggested that a tongue of drier air from the northwest and west was wrapping into the southern and southeastern portion of Dorian’s circulation.

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water and DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave images at 21 UTC [click to enlarge]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water and DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave images at 21 UTC [click to enlarge]

A long animation of GOES-16 Infrared images (below) covers the 1.5-day period from 1200 UTC on 01 September to 2359 UTC on 02 September — and initially includes 30-second images from 1200-1515 UTC on 01 September. Dorian was rated at Category 5 intensity from 1200 UTC on 01 September until 1400 UTC on 02 September. Station identifier MYGF is Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport.

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]