Consolidation of ice within Green Bay

March 4th, 2021 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed the wind-driven consolidation of ice within Green Bay during the 03 March04 March 2021 period. Northerly winds in the wake of a cold frontal passage on 03 March led to the fracturing of land-fast ice in the far northern portion of Green Bay — this ice then began drifting south-southwestward.

By sunrise on 04 March, GOES-16 Visible images indicated that the fractured ice had continued to drift farther southward overnight, eventually merging with the land-fast ice that had been covering the southern half of Green Bay; overnight low temperatures in the upper teens to low 20s F likely aided this merger process. Note that some filaments of ice had also migrated through gaps between islands, drifting southward across far western Lake Michigan (just off the coast of Wisconsin).

A toggle between 250-meter resolution Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images (source) on the 2 days is shown below.

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

As an aside, farther inland the tornado damage path from an EF3 tornado in northeastern Wisconsin was still evident, 13.5 years later (below).

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Ice formation in southern Lake Michigan

February 7th, 2021 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) revealed an increasing amount of ice coverage within the nearshore waters of southern Lake Michigan on 07 February 2021 — this was due to a recent influx of arctic air across the Upper Midwest and western Great Lakes.

A sequence of VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images from Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20 (below) provided 375-meter resolution views of the lake ice.

VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

The MIRS Sea Ice Concentration product derived from Suomi-NPP ATMS data (below) depicted maximum values of 60-63% (lighter green), which was fairly consistent with the Ice Concentration analysis from GLERL.

MIRS Sea Ice Concentration product derived from Suomi-NPP ATMS data [click to enlarge]

MIRS Sea Ice Concentration product derived from Suomi-NPP ATMS data [click to enlarge]

The Suomi-NPP VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature product (below) revealed values of 34-39ºF along the leading edge of widespread lake effect cloud bands that were producing snowfall in Lower Michigan.

Suomi-NPP VIIRS Sa Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]

Suomi-NPP VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]

A 250-meter resolution Aqua MODIS True Color RGB image of the ice at 1917 UTC (from the MODIS Today site) is shown below.

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS True Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Finally, an overpass of Landsat-8 offered a 30-meter resolution view of a portion of the lake ice near Chicago, as visualized using RealEarth (below).

Landsat-8 False Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Landsat-8 False Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Blowing snow across the Upper Midwest

February 6th, 2021 |

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

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

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Day Snow-Fog RGB images (above) showed widespread horizontal convective rolls (HCRs) which highlighted areas where blowing snow was more concentrated across parts of southern Manitoba and the Upper Midwest on 06 February 2021. Snow cover (and glaciated clouds) appeared as shades of red, with bare ground exhibiting lighter shades of green and low-level water droplet clouds appearing as brighter shades of white.

Closer views of the northern, central and southern portions of the region where blowing snow was most prevalent are shown below. The HCRs were evident during the early to late morning hours across southern Manitoba, far eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota — and then became more apparent across western/southern Minnesota extending into far northern Iowa as the day progressed. Surface reports showed that the visibility fluctuated dramatically at some sites as HCRs moved through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

In comparisons of MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images from Terra (above) and Aqua (below), the areal coverage of HCRs could be seen in the False Color imagery.

Aqua MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Farthest to the north, one cluster of HCRs appeared to originate over Lake Manitoba — as seen in 30-meter resolution Landsat-8 False Color imagery from RealEarth (below).

Landsat-8 False Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Lansdsat-8 False Color RGB image [click to enlarge]

Two notable pilot reports across southern Minnesota (below) showed that flight visibility was restricted to 4 miles at an elevation of 3000 feet, and the tops of HCRs extended to 5000 feet.

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images, with plots of Pilot Reports [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images, with plots of Pilot Reports [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images, with plots of Pilot Reports [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images, with plots of Pilot Reports [click to enlarge]

Additional material on satellite identification of blowing snow is available here and here.

Cameron Peak Fire becomes the largest on record for Colorado

October 14th, 2020 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom left) and Fire Temperature RGB (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom left) and Fire Temperature RGB (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Fire Temperature Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images (above) showed diurnal changes in the Cameron Peak Fire in northern Colorado on 14 October 2020. Aided by strong westerly winds at the surface (with peak gusts in the 50-70 mph range), the fire’s thermal signature initially began to increase in areal coverage and spread rapidly eastward — however, following the passage of a cold front around 18 UTC, an influx of cooler air with higher relative humidity halted this eastward expansion of the fire (with the thermal signature then retreating westward and diminishing in size). By that evening, the fire’s total burned area had grown to 158,300 acres, making it Colorado’s largest wildfire on record. While there was some pyrocumulus development over the fire source region, this large and hot fire did not produce a pyrocumulonimbus cloud.

Another view of the fire using 5-minute imagery from GOES-16 provided quantitative products such as Fire Power, Fire Temperature and Fire Area (below) — these 3 products are components of the GOES Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm (FDCA). Surface observations showed that during the morning hours smoke was restricting surface visibility to 3 miles at Fort Collins (KFNL) and 5 miles at Greeley (KGXY).

GOES-16 Fire Temperature (top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Area (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Fire Temperature (top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Area (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (below) indicated that one portion of the Cameron Peak Fire smoke plume was transported eastward across parts of Nebraska and Iowa, with another part of the plume moving southeastward across Kansas.

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

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

A toggle between Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images on 14 October from the MODIS Today site (below) showed the  Cameron Peak Fire smoke plume as well as its large burn scar (shades of red).

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images on 14 October [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images on 14 October [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of MODIS False Color RGB images from Aqua on 13 October and Terra on 14 October (below) the growth of the Cameron Peak Fire along its southeast flank was evident — and several other large fire burn scars were evident across Colorado and southern Wyoming.

MODIS False Color RGB images from Aqua (13 October) and Terra (14 October) [click to enlarge]

MODIS False Color RGB images from Aqua (13 October) and Terra (14 October) [click to enlarge]

Additional aspects of this fire and its environment are discussed here.