Haboob over Nebraska on 05-12-22 seen by GOES-16

May 12th, 2022 |

GOES-16 provided a view of a haboob over Nebraska on 05-12-2022. A haboob is an intense dust storm or “wall of dust” that occurs in dry conditions in high winds, which were recorded in Nebraska up to 80 mph. Haboobs can bring low visibility and even no-visibility blackouts that cause road closures. These dust storms are typically rare in the midwest. However, moderate drought conditions have made dust available in the Plains region. Similar dust storms were reported in areas of South Dakota and Iowa as the same system moved eastward.

A haboob, an intense dust storm indicated by a red arrow, is shown by a GOES-16 true color animation on 05-12-2022 from 20:00 to 22:00UTC over southern Nebraska. This visualization is available in RealEarth.

Wildfires and blowing dust in New Mexico

May 8th, 2022 |

GOES-17 Fire Temperature RGB (top left) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), with GOES-16 Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) Fire Temperature RGB and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) along with 5-minute GOES-16 (GOES-East) Fire Power and Fire Temperature (above) displayed thermal signatures of the Calf Canyon Fire and the Cerra Pelado Fire in northern New Mexico on 08 May 2022. The Fire Temperature and Fire Power derived products are components of the GOES Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm FDCA.

The northern portion of the Calf Canyon Fire exhibited extreme behavior, with rapid intensification and rates of spread that led to evacuation orders being issued for 2 communities just north of Mora. That part of the fire also exhibited maximum 3.9 µm brightness temperatures of 138.71ºC — which is the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors — beginning around 1900 UTC.

GOES-16 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) revealed the dense smoke plumes (pale shades of white) from the the wildfires, in addition to broad plumes of blowing dust (shades of tan) originating in northwestern New Mexico — strong winds across the region aided in the rapid northeastward transport of these aerosols.

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 Split Window Difference (10.3 µm – 12.3 µm) images (below) include plots of  hourly surface visibility — as the plume of blowing dust (shades of yellow to blue) from northwestern New Mexico was transported northeastward across Colorado, it appears to have played a role in reducing the visibility to as little as 2-3 miles at some locations (although local blowing dust sources may have also contributed to these low visibility values).

GOES-16 Split Window Difference (10.3 µm – 12.3 µm) images, with hourly surface visibility (miles) plotted in red [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Wildfires in New Mexico, with blowing dust and severe thunderstorms in the Plains

April 29th, 2022 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) revealed dense smoke plumes moving southeastward from wildfires in New Mexico, while blowing dust plunged southward from Colorado/Kansas (along and behind a cold front) on 29 April 2022

Taking a closer look at the New Mexico wildfires using 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images along with 5-minute Fire Power and Fire Temperature products (below), the smoke plume point sources and thermal signatures of these 3 fires could be seen in great detail. Downwind of one of the fires, smoke restricted the surface visibility to 1-3/4 mile at Las Vegas (KLVS). 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperatures of the 2 larger fires reached 138.71ºC — which is the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors. The Fire Temperature and Fire Power derived products are components of the GOES Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm FDCA.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 ) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in red [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Finally, to the east and northeast across the central Plains, severe thunderstorms developed which produced several tornadoes, hail up to 4.00 inches in diameter and wind gusts to 91 mph — 1-minute GOES-16 Visible images (above) and Infrared images (below) include time-matched plots of SPC Storm Reports. One of the tornadoes caused EF-3 damage in Andover, Kansas (further discussed here).

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 ) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in blue [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Blowing dust, wildfires and severe weather in the southern Plains — with blizzard conditions in the northern Plains

April 12th, 2022 |

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

5-minute GOES-16 {GOES-East) True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) showed widespread blowing dust (shades of tan) and wildfire smoke plumes (brighter shades of white) across much of the central/southern Plains on 12 April 2022. Wind speeds were anomalously strong behind a dryline within the warm sector of an anomalously-deep surface low, which were responsible for the spread of wildfires and blowing dust.

In southeastern Colorado, 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images along with 5-minute Fire Power and Fire Temperature products (below) displayed a smoke plume and thermal signatures of 2 grass fires that rapidly intensified between La Junta (where the peak wind gust was 53 knots) and Lamar. The Fire Temperature and Fire Power derived products are components of the GOES Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm FDCA.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Farther to the south, 1-minute GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below) include plots of time-matched SPC Storm Reports for severe thunderstorms in central Texas — which produced tornadoes and hail as large as 5.50 inches in diameter. Note that 2 of these storms exhibited Above-Anvil Cirrus Plumes (AACP: reference | VISIT training) in the Visible imagery; however, the corresponding “warm AACP” signature was not evident in the Infrared images, as is frequently the case.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in red/cyan [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

The lack of a “warm AACP ” infrared signature was explained by 2000 UTC rawinsonde data (source) from Fort Worth, Texas (below), which indicated that stratospheric temperatures continued to cool with height.

Plot of 2000 UTC rawinsonde data from Fort Worth, Texas [click to enlarge]

 

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 um) Water Vapor images, with hourly surface precipitation type plotted in red [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Finally, across the northern Plains within the cold sector of the large surface low, blizzard conditions spread across much of North Dakota (and adjacent portions of eastern Montana, northern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota) — as shown in 5-minute GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 um) images with plots of precipitation type (above) and wind barbs/gusts (below).

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 um) Water Vapor images, with plots of hourly surface wind barbs and gusts in knots [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

===== 14 April Update =====

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 um) Water Vapor images, with hourly surface precipitation type plotted in red [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

As the Northern Plains blizzard persisted into its third day on 14 April, longer animations of GOES-16 Water Vapor images are shown with plots of precipitation type (above) and wind barbs/gusts (below). Storm total snowfall accumulations included 36 inches in North Dakota, with peak wind gusts of 72 mph in South Dakota (WPC Storm Summary). The 3-day total of 18.3 inches was Bismarck’s largest April snowfall on record.

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 um) Water Vapor images, with plots of hourly surface wind barbs and gusts in knots [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

===== 15 April Update =====

GOES-16 Day Snow Fog RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

On the morning of 15 April, GOES-16 Day Snow Fog RGB images (above) revealed the partial extent of new snow cover from the 3-day blizzard (darker shades of red), along with narrow plumes of “river effect snow” (shades of white) streaming southeastward from unfrozen reservoirs along the Missouri River in North Dakota and South Dakota. At one point, a plume passing directly over Hazen, North Dakota (downwind of Lake Sakakawea) was producing light snow that reduced the surface visibility to 4 miles.