Convective initiation along an outflow boundary
GOES-12 visible images (above) showed a nice example of convective initiation along an outflow boundary from thunderstorms a few hours earlier across northeastern Iowa on 25 June 2009. This new convection that developed along the outflow boundary produced hail of 1.5 inch in diameter and damaging winds in extreme northern Illinois (just south of the Wisconsin border) during the 20:42 -21:02 UTC period.
A comparison of AWIPS images of the MODIS visible channel and a Red/Green/Blue (RGB) composite using MODIS bands 01/07/31 (below) showed the value of the false-color RGB imagery to help highlight the darker green patch of wet ground produced by heavy rainfall from the initial area of thunderstorms. Ice crystal clouds appear as varying shades of pink in the RGB image, which also helps to identify growing areas of cumulus clouds that have glaciated.
The next generation of AWIPS (AWIPS2) should offer NWS forecasters the ability to create and display this type of 24-bit RGB imagery (which is not possible using the 8-bit graphics capability of the current AWIPS system).