Stationary linear boundary over the Pacific Ocean

May 2nd, 2019 |

GOES-17 Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) and

GOES-17 Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

In a comparison of GOES-17 (GOES-West) Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above), the Water Vapor imagery revealed an interesting stationary linear boundary — oriented NNW to SSE, near 152-154ºW longitude — over the North Pacific Ocean on 02 May 2019. In addition, note the other linear boundary that propagated from E to W, moving right through the aforementioned stationary boundary (best seen in the 6.19 um Upper-level Water Vapor imagery). There was no evidence of either of these linear features in the corresponding GOES-17 Infrared imagery, or in Visible imagery (not shown). A perfect candidate for the “What the heck is this?” blog category.

One possible explanation for the curious stationary feature was that it resulted from a convergence of flow around the cutoff low to the east and a digging trough approaching from the west. GOES-15 Infrared cloud-tracked Derived Motion Winds from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) did show evidence of some converging flow in that region. Derived Motion Winds from GOES-17 were still in the Beta stage, and were not available for display in AWIPS.

GOES-15 Infrared cloud-tracked Derived Motion Winds [click to enlarge]

GOES-15 Infrared cloud-tracked Derived Motion Winds [click to enlarge]