What has the Large Iceberg (A68) been up to this year?

March 31st, 2020 |

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

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

A very large iceberg broke off the Larsen-C Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula in July 2017 (recall this CIMSS Satellite Blog post). While NOAA’s GOES-16 ABI visible sensors may not be ideal, they can monitor the iceberg’s location if the cloud cover is not too thick. The animation above shows the first 31 days of 2020, with just one image per day. More information from the National Ice Center.

H/T to @annamaria_84 for this tweet using Sentinel3 images:

Global True-Color Visible Imagery Animated

February 21st, 2020 |

Prediction:  this is the best animation you’ll see this week!  SSEC is creating daily global composites of True-Color visible imagery.  (Previous Blog Post)  The animation below shows 1 image from each day between 6 March and 4 April 2019.  The animation is also available as an animated gif, or as a YouTube video.  Also, Tim Schmit has placed the animation within a container.

True-color visible imagery global montage from 6 March – 4 April 2019 (Click to play mp4 animation)

Global Visible True-Color Imagery

February 14th, 2020 |

True-Color visible imagery from 9 February 2020 (Click to enlarge)

Prediction: This is the most beautiful satellite image you will see today. The above imagery, from the talented Rick Kohrs at the Space Science and Engineering Center, knits (seemingly seamlessly) together vertical local-noon swaths of multispectral visible/near-infrared Geostationary imagery, all using McIDAS-X. At some point in the near future, daily imagery will be created, and then an annual movie. (Click here for an image from 21 March 2019, or from 21 September 2019).

In each image, the sub-point of a satellite used to create the image is evident in the Sun Glint (at 140.2ºE for Himawari-8, or 137.2ºW and 75.2ºW for GOES-17 and GOES-16, respectively). Values at the eastern and western edges do not match up because they are offset by 1 day. A break-point has to be inserted, so why not at the edge?

Using NUCAPS to nowcast convective development

August 27th, 2019 |

GOES-16 Visible Imagery (0.64 µm) at 1721 UTC on 27 August 2019. A swath of NOAA-20 NUCAPS soundings from 1718 UTC is also shown, and individual profiles from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan southeastward to southwest Lower Michigan are plotted. (Click to enlarge)

The animation above shows the 1721 UTC GOES-16 Visible (0.64 µm) image along with NUCAPS profile locations from a NOAA-20 overpass. Convection is approaching from the west, from central Wisconsin. NUCAPS soundings can give a good estimate for how far south that convective line might develop, and a north-south series of profiles is shown in the imagery above.  Note in particular how soundings show increasing mid-level stability;  a strong inversion between becomes apparent between the NUCAPS Sounding just south of Door County on the western short of Lake Michigan and over eastern Lake Michigan on the Michigan shoreline.  This thermodynamic snapshot would argue that convection should not develop much farther south than central Lake Michigan!  the 1926 UTC Visible image, below, toggled with radar, confirms this forecast.

GOES-16 Visible Imagery (0.64 µm) at 1926 UTC on 27 August 2019 — toggled with Base Reflectivity at 1924 UTC (Click to enlarge)


NUCAPS from one satellite will periodically, north of about 40 N, supply profiles on two consecutive passes.  That happened on 27 August over Lake Michigan as might be expected given that the 1718 UTC pass had its westernmost swath over Lake Michigan.  The animation below shows the swath from 1901 UTC.  The strengthening inversion as you move south over Lake Michigan is apparent at 1901 UTC as well.

GOES-16 Visible Imagery (0.64 µm) at 1906 UTC on 27 August 2019. A swath of NOAA-20 NUCAPS soundings from 1901 UTC is also shown, and individual profiles over Lake Michigan Michigan are plotted. (Click to enlarge)