High Plains leeside cold frontal gravity waveGOES-16 (GOES-East) Low-level (7.3 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Upper-level (6.2 µm) Water Vapor images (above) revealed the classic signature of a leeside cold frontal gravity wave (reference) moving southward across the High Plains on 10 October 2019. Peak wind gusts of 50-60 mph were reported at some sites in eastern Colorado and western Kansas — and impressive drops in surface air temperature accompanied the cold frontal passage.
— NWS Pueblo (@NWSPueblo) October 11, 2019
Here’s a summary of the records set during the recent storm. Two of them are quite remarkable. 1) Breaking the record low today by 13°! 2) Tying the second largest 2-day temperature swing on record. #COwx pic.twitter.com/e6eoYu1bDB
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 11, 2019
On the corresponding GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) imagery (below), note the lack of clouds along the western end of the cold front (across the New Mexico / Texas border region). A plot of rawinsonde data from Amarillo, Texas at 12 UTC (below) showed how shallow the cold air was behind the cold front as it first moved southward through the Texas Panhandle. However, note that GOES-16 Water Vapor weighting functions calculated using 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Amarillo (below) indicated that peak contributions were in the middle troposphere — in the 440-500 hPa pressure range — with no surface radiation contributions at 6.9 µm or 6.2 µm. It was the deep-tropospheric nature of the leeside cold frontal gravity wave that allowed its signature to be sensed by the 6.9 µm and 6.2 µm Water Vapor spectral bands.