Stereoscopic views of the Kincade Fire in California

October 30th, 2019 |

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery on 24 October 2019, 1500-2350 UTC (Click to animate)

GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellite imagery can be remapped and combined to create stereoscopic imagery. To achieve the 3-dimensional effect, cross your eyes until three scenes are visible, and focus on the middle image.  You can also achieve this by placing a finger halfway between your eyes and the screen, and focusing on your finger, then focusing on the image behind.  (Here’s a website that might help).  The imagery above, from 24 October 2019, shows high clouds rotating anti-cyclonically above the smoke produced from the Kincade Fire (previous blog posts on this fire are here and here). The smoke plume extended far out into the Pacific Ocean. A Full-resolution image animation is shown below.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery on 24 October 2019, 1500-2350 UTC (Click to animate)

Animations for 25 October, 26 October, 27 October, 28 October and 29 October are shown below, in order.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC on 25 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 26 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 25th and 26th of October, prevailing winds moved smoke into the Bay Area.  On both days, the fire appeared less vigorous in the visible imagery than on the 24th, at top, or on the 27th;  at least, it appeared to be producing less smoke.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC on 26 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 27 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 27th, below, the fire resembled the scene on 24 October, with a large smoke plume extending far southwest into the Pacific Ocean.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to 2350 UTC on 27 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 28th, below, smoke generation has decreased, and the smoke pall appears over the Bay Area again. A full-resolution version is available here.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to 2350 UTC on 28 October 2019 (Click to animate)

The scene on the 29th, below (Full resolution available here) is shown below. The smoke plume is extensive.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to on 29 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 30 October 2019 (Click to animate)

How did the smoke plume change from day to day? The animation below shows data at 2350 UTC on 24-29 October.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery at 2350 UTC from 24 to 29 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)

Gridded NUCAPS fields are available in AWIPS

October 29th, 2019 |

NUCAPS Sounding Availability points from AWIPS, 1304 UTC on 29 October 2019, and the Temperature at 500 hPa at the same time (Click to enlarge)

Gridded NUCAPS fields (Here’s a NASA SpoRT VLab page on the product) are now available in AWIPS, effective with AWIPS Build 19.3.1. The imagery above includes a swath of NUCAPS points (called up via ‘NUCAPS Sounding Availability’) under the Satellite Tab, and the ‘S-NPP and NOAA-20’ choice there (even though, at present, only NOAA-20 NUCAPS profiles are supplied to AWIPS). A ‘Gridded NUCAPS’ choice is available right about the NUCAPS Sounding Availability, and this allows a user to choose Temperature, Dewpoint Temperature, Equivalent Potential Temperature, Lapse Rates (and more!) at different standard mandatory pressure levels (or layers, for Lapse Rates). Interpolation in the vertical has moved the native NUCAPS pressure levels (mentioned here) to standard pressure levels.

The plot above also shows the temperature at 500 hPa for the same time, 1304 UTC.  Gridded NUCAPS fields do not cover the entire extent of the NUCAPS Sounding Availability plots.  In addition, values are present for all sounding color dot points — green, yellow and red — on the theory that a user can identify the bad data visually.

The animation below shows a series of gridded fields over northern Canada, covering much of the the Sounding Availability plot.  Because of the timestamps on these different grids, they do not all time match the swath of NUCAPS Sounding Availability points. On this day, the size of some of the fields produced was quite small.  The size of the gridded region is limited by computational resources on AWIPS, and the upper limit is 20 lines of NUCAPS soundings — 600 soundings total that are horizontally and vertically interpolated. The size is also affected by the order in which the soundings appear in AWIPS. If a small chunk (say, 7 lines of soundings) comes in, then that small chunk will be processed into a horizontal grid. It’s more common that grid sizes will be closer to what occurred at 1304 UTC.

Temperature at 500 mb from NUCAPS Soundings, 1304 – 1311 UTC on 29 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)

If you look in the Product Browser on AWIPS, you will find far more data than are available under the ‘Gridded NUCAPS’ menu under ‘NOAA-20 and S-NPP’ under the satellite tab.  (Here’s just a small sample!)  For example, you can plot Ozone estimates from NUCAPS, as shown below — loaded as a grid then converted to an image.  Expect the presentation of NUCAPS horizontal fields in AWIPS to evolve with time.  In the meantime, this is a valuable data set to determine (for example) the likelihood of snow v. rain based on the 925 Temperature and Dewpoint Depression.

AWIPS Product Browser showing Ozone Estimates at 1304 UTC on 29 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)

(Thanks to Dr. Emily Berndt, NASA SpoRT, for clarifying remarks. Any errors that remain are the author’s, however!  Imagery courtesy NWS MKX)

Kincade Fire grows as Diablo Winds incease

October 27th, 2019 |

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

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

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed a wind-driven increase in areal coverage and smoke production from the Kincade Fire in Northern California on 27 October 2019. The fire made a rapid southwestward run of approximately 10 miles toward Highway 101 (plotted in red), as Diablo Winds increased during the nighttime hours — a wind gust of 102 mph was recorded at Pine Flat Road and 93 mph near Healdsburg Hills.

GOES-17 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the AOS site (below) showed how Kincade Fire smoke expanded across the Pacific Ocean during the day.

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (below) showed the southwestward expansion of the large thermal anomaly associated with  the fire (Note: the NOAA-20 images are incorrectly labeled as Suomi NPP).

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

Stereoscopic views of Tropical Storm Olga in the Gulf of Mexico

October 25th, 2019 |

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) Red Visible (0.64 µm) imagery, 1230 – 2350 UTC on 24 October 2019. To view in three dimensions, cross your eyes until 3 images are apparent, and focus on the image in the middle (Click to animate)

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) Red Visible (0.64 µm) imagery, 1240 – 2350 UTC on 25 October 2019. To view in three dimensions, cross your eyes until 3 images are apparent, and focus on the image in the middle (Click to animate)

GOES-16 and GOES-17, although separated by 60 of longitude, can be combined to create stereoscopic imagery in the Gulf of Mexico. The top-most animation, from 24 October 2019, shows the disturbance in the southwest Gulf of Mexico that ulimately becomes Tropical Storm Olga. The bottom animation is from 25 October, a day when the low-level circulation of the storm is apparent.

Tropical Storm Olga is at the northern edge of a very moist airmass as determined from Microwave measurements.  The MIMIC animation, below, from this site, shows the extent of the moist region.  (The moisture associated with Pablo is also apparent)  Dry air moving into the Gulf of Mexico from Texas is restricting the horizontal extent of the moisture. That front moving into the Gulf is expected to overtake Olga as it transitions to an extratropical storm. Heavy rains with this system have already moved into Louisiana and Mississippi.

Microwave-derived Total Precipitable Water, hourly for the 24 hours ending at 21 UTC on 25 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)

For more information on Tropical Storm Olga, refer to the website of the National Hurricane Center. Interests along the Gulf Coast and inland should pay attention to this storm.