East Pacific storm, as viewed by GOES-17 and GOES-15

February 18th, 2021 |

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm, left) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm, right) [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm, left) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm, right) [click to play animation | MP4]

The rapid intensification of a Storm Force low over the East Pacific Ocean during the 17-18 February 2021 period (surface analyses) could be seen on Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm) (above). This was from the final full day of GOES-15 imaging operations (while the satellite was briefly taken out of on-orbit storage to perform its annual checkout activities). As was mentioned in this blog post, GOES-17’s improvements in spatial resolution and imaging frequency allowed for better monitoring of this feature as it approached the Alaska Panhandle. The images are displayed in the native projection of each of the 2 satellites.

GOES-15 temporarily brought out of storage

February 10th, 2021 |

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm, left) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm, right) [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm, left) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm, right) [click to play animation | MP4]

Beginning on 06 February 2021, the GOES-15 satellite was brought out of storage for a 14-day period of imaging (as part of its annual checkout activities). On 10 February, a comparison of Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (6.9 µm) and GOES-15 (6.5 µm) showed mountain waves over southeastern Wyoming and central Colorado (above). This comparison helped to highlight some of the improvements in the GOES-R Series, such as

  •  improved spatial resolution with ABI Water Vapor (and other infrared) spectral bands — 2 km at sub-satellite point for GOES-17, vs 4 km at sub-satellite point for GOES-15
  •  improved temporal resolution — 5-minute image interval for GOES-17, vs 15-minute image interval for GOES-15 (except for 30-minute gaps every 3 hours, during Full Disk scans)
  • more stable image navigation

Multi-panel animations of GOES-15 images from the Imager and Sounder instruments are shown below (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/ASPB). In addition, there are animations of GOES-15 Visible and Infrared Window images.

GOES-15 Imager spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 Imager spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 Sounder spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 Sounder spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 data were downloaded, processed and archived by SSEC Satellite Data Services. Real-time GOES-15 imagery is temporarily available here: Imager | Sounder.

A view of California wildfires from 4 GOES

August 13th, 2020 |

From left to right, GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-14 and GOES-16 Visible images [click to play animation | <a href="https://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/satellite-blog/images/2020/08/200813_goes17_goes15_goes14_goes16_visible_RedSalmonComplex_wildfire_smoke_anim.mp4"><strong>MP4</strong></a>]

From left to right, GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-14 and GOES-16 Visible images [click to play animation | MP4]

On 13 August 2020, Visible images from GOES-17 (GOES-West, positioned at 137.2ºW), GOES-15 (GOES-West backup, positioned at 128ºW), GOES-14 (on-orbit spare, positioned at 104.5ºW) and GOES-16 (GOES-East, positioned at 75.2ºW) (above) showed the morning dispersion of smoke from the Red Salmon Complex that had been burning in northern California. The images are displayed in the native projection of each satellite.

In southern California, Shortwave Infrared images from all 4 satellites (below) displayed thermal signatures (dark black to red pixels) from wildfires burning near Los Angeles. Thermal signatures varied between the 4 satellites, based upon differences in spatial resolution, viewing angle, and intermittent fire thermal signal attenuation by high clouds moving over the area. In the GOES-15 images, the occasional appearance of white pixels was due to a “roll-over” issue  — where extremely hot temperatures get displayed as cold (white).

From left to right, GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-14 and GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

From left to right, GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-14 and GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-15 was providing supplemental operations for GOES-17 during a period of maximum ABI Loop Heat Pipe thermal anomaly; GOES-14 had been brought out of storage for its annual 10-day test checkout.

The raw GOES data was acquired and processed by SSEC Satellite Data Services.

GOES-15 is no longer sending data

March 2nd, 2020 |

GOES-15 Clean Window (10.7 µm) Infrared imagery at 1552 UTC over the southern hemisphere (Click to enlarge)

As scheduled, GOES-15 has sent its last image (More information from NOAA’s Office of Satellite and Product Operations OSPO)  .  The final image sent was a 1552 UTC Southern Hemisphere sector, shown above (courtesy Tim Schmit).   (One of the final Sounder images is here). However, the satellite is not gone for good:  it is scheduled to transmit data again in August of this year, when the GOES-17 Loop Heat Pipe issue again renders GOES-West imagery incomplete during the eastern/central Pacific Ocean Hurricane season.  (This website shows more specifics)

GOES-15 became the operational GOES-West satellite — replacing GOES-11 — back in early December 2011 (Blog Post;  GOES-11 replaced GOES-10 as GOES-West back in 2006 (Blog Post)).  GOES-15 ceased being the operational GOES-West when GOES-17 became operational (February 12, 2017), but GOES-15 has continued to transmit data to supplement imagery lost because of the GOES-17’s Loop Heat Pipe.

Added: The Science Test for GOES-15 is available here.