The March of Cyclones in a ‘Foureaster’ Animation

March 27th, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Imagery from 28 February through 24 March 2018 at 15-minute time steps. CIMSS Natural Color imagery is shown during the day, a blend of GOES-16 ABI Shortwave (3.9 µm) and Longwave (10.3 µm) Infrared imagery is shown at night. (Click to open YouTube animation)

Four weeks of GOES-16 Full-Disk imagery, spanning 28 February to 24 March at a 15-minute interval, showing four Nor’easters, are available via the image above at YouTube.  The imagery shows CIMSS Natural Color during the day and a blend of GOES-16 ABI Shortwave (3.9 µm) and Longwave (10.3 µm) Infrared imagery at night.

The original mp4 (200 megabytes) is available for download here.

Icebreaking in Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior

March 24th, 2018 |

GOES-16 ABI Band 2 “Red” (0.64 µm) Visible imagery, 2202 UTC on 22 and 23 March 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Dan Miller, the Science and Operations Officer (SOO) in Duluth sent the imagery above. Constant icebreaking has been ongoing on Whitefish Bay prior to the opening of the SOO Locks this weekend. A faint black line representing open water is apparent in the 22 March imagery, and it’s even more apparent in the 23 March imagery.

A toggle below, from 24 March 2018, shows the Band 2 “Red” (0.64 µm) Visible and the Band 5 “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) Near-Infrared images. The open water is apparent in both images — dark in contrast to the white snow and lake ice in the visible, darker than the adjacent ice in the 1.61 µm. Recall that horizontal resolution in Band 2 is 0.5 km at the sub-satellite point (nadir), and in Band 5 it is 1 km.

GOES-16 ABI Band 2 “Red” (0.64 µm) Visible and Band 5 “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) near-infrared imagery, 2202 UTC on 22 and 23 March 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 also viewed the icebroken path on 24 March, and favorable orbit geometry for NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP on 24 March (orbit paths from this site) meant 2 sequential passes from both satellites both viewed Whitefish Bay. The 4 images are shown in an animation below, with imagery from NOAA-20 first, then Suomi NPP (the labels all say Suomi NPP erroneously). Note that NOAA-20 data are provisional, non-operational, and undergoing testing still).

VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm, I1) Imagery from NOAA-20 (1708, 1846 UTC) and Suomi-NPP (1756, 1937 UTC) on 24 March 2018 (Click to enlarge)

The break in the ice was also visible in Day Night Band Imagery from VIIRS at 0722 UTC (from NOAA-20) on 24 March 2018.  It is also apparent in the shortwave Infrared imagery from both GOES-16 (very subtly) and from VIIRS (which offers better spatial resolution).

The icebreaking track was also apparent on 250-meter resolution Terra MODIS True-color and False-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the MODIS Today site (below). In the False-color image, ice and snow (in areas of sparse vegetation) show up as shades of cyan.

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

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

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.

GOES-16

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.

GOES-16

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 |

GOES-16

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.

GOES-16

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]