Cyclone Mekunu in the northwest Indian Ocean

May 23rd, 2018 |
Meteosat-8 Infrared 10.8 µm imagery, 1630 UTC 22 May - 1715 UTC 23 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Meteosat-8 Infrared 10.8 µm imagery, 1630 UTC 22 May – 1715 UTC 23 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Cyclone Mekunu in the northwest Indian Ocean was approaching Oman and Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula on 23 May 2018, as shown in the animation above. Morphed Microwave Imagery, below, (from this site) for the 24 hours ending at 1900 UTC on 23 May 2018, shows the storm at the periphery of deep tropical moisture.  This moisture will likely lead to devastating floods in the desert regions of Oman and Yemen as the storm approaches. (News Link 1, 2 and 3).  Cyclone Chapala that affected the region in 2015 also caused devastating floods.

Microwave-based Total Precipitable Water for 24 hours ending 1900 UTC on 23 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Microwave imagery, below, (from this site) shows how the organization of the storm changed in the 24 hours ending around 1600 UTC on 23 May 2018.   AMSU microwave imagery for this storm can be found here (off of this website).

Morphed Microwave Imagery over Mekunu for the 24 hours ending at 1600 UTC (Click to enlarge)

Satellite intensity estimates for the storm are shown below (taken from this website). The Meteosat-8 infrared animation, above, shows a periodic increase and decay in the strong convection near the center. Satellite estimates of strength (below) show a consistent lowering of the central pressure of the storm, however; winds have consistently increased.

Satellite-based estimates of Mekunu’s central pressure (Click to enlarge)

Mekunu is traversing a region with very high Sea Surface Temperatures and modest shear. Significant weakening is not forecast.

Sea Surface Temperatures and Shear over the northwest Indian Ocean (Click to enlarge)

More information on this unusual tropical cyclone can be found at the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website (link) and the CIRA Tropical Weather Website (link).

=============== Added, 24 May 2018 ==============

Suomi-NPP overflew Mekunu at 2133 UTC on 23 May 2018, and the toggle below (between the Day Night Band and the 11.45 µm infrared;  Click here for a zoomed-in toggle between the Day Night Band and the 11.35 µm infrared image) shows the storm well-illuminated by a waxing gibbous Moon.  Strong convection with lightning is apparent north of the island of Socotra.  (VIIRS imagery courtesy Will Straka, CIMSS)

Suomi NPP VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) and Day Night Band Visible (0.70 µm) imagery over Mekunu, 2133 UTC on 23 May 2018 (Click to enlarge)

=============== Added, 25 May 2018 ==============

Mekunu is approaching the coast of Oman on 25 May 2018 from the southeast.  The animation below of visible (0.6 µm, left) and Infrared (10.8 µm ,right) imagery shows a compact storm with deep convection around an eye.  Microwave Imagery for the 24 hours ending at 1300 UTC on 25 May (here, from this site) suggest Mekunu is strengthening as it nears the coast. (Satellite-estimated winds and pressure also suggest strengthening near landfall).

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.6 µm, left) and Infrared (10.8 µm, right) imagery over Mekunu, 1145 UTC on 24 May to 1215 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Visible Imagery from 1045 to 1430 UTC, below, suggests landfall will occur shortly after sunset east of the Oman/Yemen border.  Infrared Imagery (at bottom) shows a landfall near 1800 UTC.

Meteosat-8 Visible (0.6 µm, left) imagery over Mekunu, 1045 UTC to 1430 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Meteosat-8 Infrared (10.8 µm, left) imagery over Mekunu, 1415 UTC to 1830 UTC on 25 May 2018 (Click to animate)

Surface observations from Salalah, in southern Oman (click here), show sustained tropical-storm force winds, with gusts to 60 knots, from the east for several hours today. Normal annual precipitation for the region is about 5″.

Minor explosive eruption of Kilauea in Hawai’i

May 19th, 2018 |

Himawari-8 Ash Cloud Height product {click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Ash Cloud Height product [click to play animation]

An explosive eruption from the Halema’uma’u crater at the Kilauea summit on the Big Island of Hawai’i occurred around 1550 UTC on 19 May 2018. Using Himawari-8 data, multispectral retrievals of parameters such as Ash Cloud Height (above) and Ash Loading (below) from the NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site helped to characterize the volcanic ash plume.

Himawari-8 Ash Loading product [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Ash Loading product [click to play animation]

Later in the day, a Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) image viewed using RealEarth (below) showed the hazy signature of volcanic smog or “vog” which had spread out to the south, southwest and west of the Big Island. Light amounts of ash fall were reported downwind of Kilauea.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color RGB image [click to enlarge]

PyroCumulonimbus cloud in Texas

May 11th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

A large pyroCumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud developed from the Mallard Fire in the Texas Panhandle on 11 May 2018, aided by warm temperatures and strong winds ahead of an approaching dryline (surface analyses).  1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the large thermal anomaly or “hot spot” (red 3.9 µm pixels) and the rapid development of  the pyroCb cloud beginning shortly after 1900 UTC. Cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures cooled to -60 ºC — the tropopause temperature on the 00 UTC Amarillo sounding — by around 2130 UTC. On the Shortwave Infrared imagery, note the relatively warm (darker gray) appearance of the pyroCb cloud top — a characteristic signature of pyroCb anvils due to enhanced reflection of solar radiation off of smaller cloud-top particles.

4-panel comparisons of Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1936 UTC and 2029 UTC (below) revealed that the maximum differences between 3.74 µm and 11.45 µm cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures — at the same location on the pyroCb anvil — were 86ºC (+26ºC and -59ºC at 1936 UTC) and 91.5ºC (+27.5ºC and -63ºC at 2029 UTC).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm, upper left), Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm, upper right), Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm, lower left) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm, lower right) images at 1936 UTC and 2029 UTC [click to enlarge]

Lightning was detected from portions of the smoke plume, as well as the core of the pyroCb thunderstorm.

After dark, the thermal signature of the Mallard Fire was also apparent on GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Cloud particle size” (2.24 µm) imagery (below).

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Cloud particle size” (2.24 µm, top), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

===== 12 May Update =====

Terra MODIS True-color and False-color images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True-color and False-color images [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of 250-meter resolution Terra MODIS True-color and False-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the MODIS Today site (above), the Mallard Fire burn scar was evident in the False-color. Both images showed a smoke plume from ongoing fire activity, which was drifting northward across the Texas Panhandle.

The corresponding Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature product (below) indicated that LST values within the burn scar were as high as 137ºF (darker red enhancement), in contrast to values around 100ºF adjacent to the burn scar.

Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]

Severe weather across southern Wisconsin

May 9th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with airport identifiers plotted in yellow and SPC storm reports plotted in red [click to play MP4 animation]

Severe weather (SPC | NWS ARX | NWS MKX) occurred across far southern Wisconsin on the afternoon of 09 May 2018, as a surface low moved eastward across the area. 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) provided a view of the isolated thunderstorm that rapidly developed in far southwestern Wisconsin around 1800 UTC. The evolution of overshooting tops was seen in both Visible and Infrared imagery — cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures cooled into the -50 to -60 ºC range (orange to red enhancement). On the Visible imagery, rear inflow feeder bands could be seen on the southwestern flank of the storm leading up to the time that it produced 1.00-inch diameter hail near Madison at 2045 UTC. SPC storm reports are “parallax corrected” so as to be plotted at a height corresponding to the cloud-top features of the parent storm.

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1923 UTC (below) showed the isolated thunderstorm as it was moving into northwestern Dane County. The rear inflow feeder bands were evident, and the minimum cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -62 ºC.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Rayleigh-corrected pseudo true color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images (below; courtesy of Pete Pokrandt, AOS) showed a large Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) that moved through northern Illinois and Wisconsin during the early morning hours, along with the hazy signature of smoke from agricultural burning in the central Plains (which was being drawn northward across eastern Iowa ahead of the surface cold front).

GOES-16 Rayleigh-corrected RGB images [click to play YouTube video]

GOES-16 Rayleigh-corrected RGB images [click to play YouTube video]