Mountain waves

May 8th, 2009 |
MODIS 6.7 µm and GOES-12 6.5 µm water vapor channel images

MODIS 6.7 µm and GOES-12 6.5 µm "water vapor channel" images

AWIPS images of the 1-km resolution MODIS 6.5 µm and the 4-km resolution GOES-12 6.5 µm “water vapor channel” images (above) demonstrate the advantage of better spatial resolution for the detection of small-scale features such as the mountain waves that had formed over much of New Mexico and the adjacent states on 08 May 2009. A small amount of parallax shift is also evident on the GOES-12 image, with the features being displaced slightly to the northwest.

The presence of mountain waves implies the potential for turbulence (especially when the wave patterns interfere, as they do in this particular case) — however, very few aircraft were flying in the area at that hour, and there was only one pilot report of light turbulence at 36,000 feet near the Arizona/New Mexico border.

MODIS watr vapor image + pilot reports

MODIS water vapor image + pilot reports

Comments are closed.