Nor’easter off the east coast of the US

March 13th, 2018 |

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor images, with plots of hourly surface weather symbols [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor images, with plots of hourly surface weather symbols [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor images (above) showed the development of a Nor’easter off the east coast of the US during the 12 March13 March 2018 period (surface analyses). The storm produced blizzard conditions with snowfall amounts as high as 28.3 inches and wind gusts as high as 81 mph in Massachusetts (WPC storm summary | Boston MA summary | Gray ME summary | Caribou ME summary).

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below) showed the cloud shied associated with the rapidly-intensifying Nor’easter on 13 March.

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

A closer view using 1-minute interval Mesoscale Sector “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images on 13 March (below) included plots of hourly surface wind gusts.

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with hourly surface wind gusts [click to play MP4 animation]

Summary of the 02-03 March Nor’Easter

March 3rd, 2018 |

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with plots of hourly wind gusts [click to play MP4 animation]

A strong Nor’easter affected much of northeastern portion of the US during 02 March and 03 March 2018. As noted in the previous blog post, the storm produced very strong winds which led to widespread wind damage and power outages. A GOES-16 (GOES-East) Mesoscale Sector was positioned over the storm on 02 March, and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) provided a detailed view of the center of circulation over the western Atlantic.

A 2-day animation of GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (below) showed the evolution of the storm as it moved from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean (surface analyses). A summary of the peak wind gusts and highest snowfall/rainfall totals can be seen here and here.

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) images, with plots of hourly wind gusts [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images, with plots of hourly wind gusts [click to play MP4 animation]

On 03 March, a vortex was seen to develop in GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, just behind the occluded frontal boundary — about 30 minutes after a burst of stronger northeasterly winds (with speeds as high as 58 knots) was analyzed in that region by the Metop ASCAT instrument.

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with surface fronts and Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to play MP4 animation]

A signature of this vortex was also evident in GOES-16 Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm) images (below). A toggle between Visible and Water Vapor images at 1605 UTC is available here.

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) images, with surface fronts and Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to play animation]

GOES-16 Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm) images, with surface fronts and Metop ASCAT surface scatterometer winds [click to play MP4 animation]

Finally, a NOAA-20 VIIRS True-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) image centered over Lake Erie at 1839 UTC on 03 March (below) showed the fresh snow cover left by the storm as it moved across the Great Lakes on 02 March. Snow can be seen across parts of Lower Michigan, southern Ontario, northern Ohio, and far northwestern Pennsylvania. NOAA-20 is the first of the JPSS series of satellites (note: the data are still considered preliminary and non-operational as the instruments and products are being evaluated and tested).

NOAA-20 True-color RGB image, centered of Lake Erie [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True-color RGB image, centered of Lake Erie [click to enlarge]

Derived Motion Winds near the surface with a strong East Coast Storm

March 2nd, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Band 10 (Low-Level Water Vapor, 7.3 µm) Infrared Imagery, 0507-1757 UTC on 2 March 2018 (Click to animate)

The evolution of a very strong Nor’easter on the East Coast of the United States for the twelve hours ending at ~1800 UTC on 2 March 2018 is shown above. During this time period, the storm produced winds that shut down schools and Government in the Nation’s Capitol (and elsewhere), with High Wind Warnings widespread from North Carolina to Massachusetts (Link, from this site). Significant Coastal Flooding is likely in New England with this storm.

One of the Level 2 Products produced with GOES-R Series Satellite (GOES-16 and soon, GOES-17) data are Derived Motion Wind Vectors at various levels. The images below show winds of up to 70 knots (!!) at or below 900 hPa over the Chesapeake Bay between 1627 and 1657 UTC on 2 March. Observations (bottom) show numerous surface gusts exceeding 50 knots in the region during that time.

GOES-16 ABI Band 10 (Low-Level Water Vapor, 7.3 µm) Infrared Imagery, 1627 and 1657 UTC on 2 March 2018, with Derived Motion Winds in excess of 50 knots at ~1000 hPa (red) and ~900 hPa (Magenta) plotted (Click to enlarge)

GOES-16 ABI Band 2 (“Red” Visible, 0.64 µm) Visible Imagery, 1502, 1602 and 1702 UTC on 2 March 2018, with surface observations plotted in green (Click to enlarge)

 

Severe weather in the Mid-South, and heavy snow in the Upper Midwest

February 24th, 2018 |

GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), with hourly plots of surface weather type [click to play Animated GIF | MP4 also available]

GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface weather type [click to play Animated GIF | MP4 also available]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (above) showed the flow of moisture from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley on 24 February 2018 — this fueled the development of flooding rainfall and severe thunderstorms (for more details, see the Satellite Liaison Blog). A special 21 UTC sounding from Little Rock AR indicated 37.3 mm or 1.47 inches of Total Precipitable Water (TPW) within the atmospheric column.

1-minute interval Mesoscale Sector GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below) revealed the development of a small supercell thunderstorm just north of the Kentucky/Tennessee border — this storm produced an EF-2  tornado that was responsible for 1 fatality (NWS Louisville damage survey). This (along with another in Arkansas) was the first US tornado-related death in 283 days (a new record in terms of length), with the last occurring in Wisconsin on 16 May 2017.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible<em> (0.64 µm, left)</em> and "Clean" Infrared Window <em>(10.3 µm, right)</em> images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow and SPC storm reports plotted in red [click to play Animated GIF | <a href="http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/180224_goes16_visible_infrared_spc_storm_reports_KY_TN_severe_anim.mp4"><strong>MP4</strong></a> also available]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly surface reports plotted in yellow and SPC storm reports plotted in red [click to play Animated GIF | MP4 also available]

Farther to the north, bands of elevated convection (oriented generally west to east) developed across Minnesota and Wisconsin, as seen in GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (below). Snowfall rates were 1-2 inches per hour at some locations, with many storm total accumulations of 7 to 9 inches. Note the small-scale “ripple structure” that was present along the tops of many of these convective bands (orthogonal to the long axis of each band).

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0/64 µm) images [click to play animation]

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

Comparisons of Terra and Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images (below) also showed these bands of elevated convection that helped to enhance snowfall rates. The layer of instability aloft was evident on the 00 UTC sounding from Chanhassen MN.

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]