Ship tracks in the East Pacific, and eddy circulations near the California coast

April 24th, 2019 |

GOES-17 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 (GOES-West) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (above) showed a number of ship condensation trails (or “ship tracks”) over the East Pacific Ocean on 24 April 2019. Aerosols from the exhaust of ships cause a “cloud seeding effect”, which results in a higher concentration of smaller cloud droplets compared to the surrounding unperturbed clouds. These smaller cloud droplets are more effective reflectors of sunlight, leading to a warmer (darker red) 3.9 µm signature.

GOES-17 Visible images (below) revealed a few eddy circulations within the marine boundary layer stratocumulus off the coast of southern California, along with other interesting Channel Island cloud interactions — some of the eddy circulations exhibited a small cloud-free center. Surface winds were light and variable over the Channel Islands (surface analyses), with a thermal low situated well inland over the Desert Southwest (the national high temperature on 24 April was 106ºF at Death Valley, California).

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]