Hurricane Force low pressure system off the US East Coast

April 1st, 2020 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) and Air Mass RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) and Air Mass RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) and Air Mass Red-Green-Blue (RGB) mages (above) showed an occluding Hurricane Force low pressure system (surface analyses) off the US East Coast on 01 April 2020. In the Air Mass RGB images, darker red areas just south of the storm center indicated the presence of higher amounts of total column ozone, brought about by a lowering tropopause — RAP40 model fields of the PV1.5 pressure (representing the height of the “dynamic tropopause”) suggested that the tropopause had descended below the 500 hPa pressure level later in the day.

The hurricane-force winds at the surface were creating seas as high as 33 feet. The milky/hazy signature of a highly-agitated sea surface + sea spray — immediately south of the convection around the core of the storm — was evident in GOES-16 True Color RGB images, created using Geo2Grid (below).

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

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

GOES-16 Visible images with an overlay of GLM Flash Extent Density (below) revealed that lightning activity gradually decreased within convection surrounding the core of the low during the day.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) and Air Mass RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images with an overlay of GLM Flash Extent Density [click to play animation | MP4]

As the storm was becoming organized near the Southeast US coast during the preceding overnight hours, a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 0627 UTC (below) showed widespread mesospheric airglow waves in the Day/Night Band — these waves were likely generated by the approach of an upper-tropospheric jet streak.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Addition information about this event is available on the Satellite Liaison Blog.

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:

Contrails over Wisconsin, and a mesovortex moving across Indiana

March 31st, 2020 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm), Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm), Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm), Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm), Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm), Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm), Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Day Cloud Phase Distinction Red-Green-Blue (RGB)  images (above) showed both circular and linear contrails over southern Wisconsin on 31 March 2020. The circular contrail was likely created by military aircraft (Wisconsin Air National Guard) performing training operations.

A toggle between GOES-16 Visible and Cirrus images at 1601 UTC (below) indicated that the darker signature seen in Visible imagery was actually the shadow from the high-altitude contrails being cast upon the top of the low-level stratus clouds.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm), and Near-Infrared "Cirrus" (1.37 µm) images [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), and Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Another feature of interest was revealed by 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 Visible images — a mesovortex that was moving southwestward from southwest Michigan across northwestern Indiana (below). However, the small-scale circulation of the vortex was not captured by 1-minute GOES-16 Derived Motion Winds.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images with plots of Derived Motion Winds (yellow) [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with Derived Motion Winds plotted in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

Severe weather outbreak across the central US

March 28th, 2020 |

GOES- 16

GOES- 16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with time-matched (+/- 4 minutes) SPC Storm Reports plotted in red [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES- 16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed widespread events of severe weather (SPC Storm Reports) associated with a large occluding low pressure system and its frontal boundaries on 28 March 2020.

The corresponding GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images are shown below. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were in the -60 to -70ºC range (red to black enhancement). The most significant tornado produced EF-3 damage as it moved through Jonesboro, Arkansas beginning at 2157 UTC.

GOES- 16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in purple [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES- 16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched (+/- 4 minutes) SPC Storm Reports plotted in purple [click to play animation | MP4]

A toggle between a Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image (with plots of available NUCAPS soundings) and the Gridded NUCAPS CAPE values (below) revealed pockets of instability across the lower Mississippi River Valley in advance of the approaching cold front. Due to the presence of dense multi-layer cloudiness across much of Arkansas, there were no successful infrared+microwave (green) NUCAPS profiles available near Jonesboro (KJBR), except for a few microwave-only (yellow) soundings just to the south.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image with plots of available NUCAPS soundings + Gridded NUCAPS CAPE [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) image with plots of available NUCAPS soundings + Gridded NUCAPS CAPE [click to enlarge]

A plot of 19 UTC rawinsonde data from Little Rock, Arkansas (below) indicated a CAPE value of 2836 J/kg.

Plot of 19 UTC rawinsonde data from Little Rock, Arkansas [click to enlarge]

Plot of 19 UTC rawinsonde data from Little Rock, Arkansas [click to enlarge]

Additional imagery of this event is available on the Satellite Liaison Blog.