Hurricane Gilbert: 1988 as seen by GOES-7

September 14th, 2020 |

Hurricane Gilbert (1988) is one of the most intense Atlantic-basin hurricane on record. NOAA’s GOES-7 offer both visible and infrared views of the storm. These images are from the VISSR mode. What is unique about the view from the geostationary orbit, is that it allows both large / synoptic scale views as well as finer (mesoscale) views. 

Visible band

Visible

GOES-7 Visible images from September 10-17, 1988. [click to play animation | MP4]

A week-long visible loop of the Hurricane Gilbert as it moves across the Caribbean and through the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Florence can also be seen near Louisiana, early in the animation. 

Gilbert. GOES-7 Visible

GOES-7 Visible images from September 12-15, 1988. [click to play animation | MP4]

A GOES-7 visible loop over the time period of maximum intensity. 

GOES-7

GOES-7 Visible images from September 13, 1988. [click to play animation | MP4]

The highest spatial resolution visible GOES-17 imagery of Hurricane Gilbert. Note the horizontal striping due to the photo-multipler tube technology that was then used. 

Infrared window band

IR

GOES-7 IR images from September 10-18, 1988. [click to play animation | MP4]

Above is a “large-scale” view of the GOES-7 infrared longwave window band covering September 10-18, 1988. Tropical Storm Florence can also be seen near Louisiana, early in the animation. 

A more “zoomed in” view:

IR

GOES-7 IR images from September 12-14, 1988. [click to play animation | MP4]

All the IR images have been color-enhanced to highlight the coldest temperatures. 

Visible and Infrared window bands

GOES-7 Full Disk

GOES-7 combined visible and infrared full disk image from September 13, 1988. [Click to enlarge.]

A much larger file (18 MB) of the same day/time as above. This is a combined image, with the visible band, along with the cold pixels from the infrared band (color). 

Swipe between GOES-7 Visible and Infrared bands.

Fade between GOES-7 Visible and Infrared bands. (Using this software.)

NOAA GOES-7 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services.

 

 

A View of the Development of Geostationary Imagers through the lens of BAMS

May 14th, 2020 |

A collection of 60 BAMS covers spanning the years, to highlight the rapid advance of imaging from the geostationary orbit, is shown above (a version that loops more slowly can be seen here). The first cover is the first of BAMS, in January of 1920, while the second, from January of 1957 is the first time artificial ‘satellite’ was in a title of a BAMS article. The third image, from November of 1957, is a remarkable article on potential uses of satellites. This included both qualitative uses: (1) Clouds, (2) Cloud Movements, (3) Drift of Atmospheric Pollutants, (4) State of the Surface of the Sea (or of Large Lakes), (5) Visibility or Atmospheric Transparency to Light — and quantitative uses: (1) Albedo, (2) Temperature  of  a  Level  at  or  Near  the Tropopause, (3) Total Moisture Content., (4) Total  Ozone  Content, (5) Surface  (Ground-Air Interface) Temperature, and (6) Snow Cover. Early covers showcase rockets, balloons and high-altitude aircraft to prepare the way to human space travel (Gemini, Apollo, etc.), polar-orbiters (TIROS, NIMBUS, VHRR, NOAA, etc.) and finally geostationary orbit (ATS-1, ATS-3, SMS, GOES, Meteosat, INSAT, Himawari, etc.).

Reasons to look back at the BAMS covers:

Interactive web page, with links to the original “front matter”.

Montage of select BAMS covers

Montage of select BAMS covers

Note: All cover images are from the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

30-year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Hugo

September 22nd, 2019 |

GOES-7 Infrared Window (11.25 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-7 Infrared Window (11.25 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-7 Infrared Window (11.25 µm) images (above) showed Hurricane Hugo as it made landfall as a Category 4 storm around 04 UTC on 22 September 1989. This GOES-7 data was accessed from the SSEC Satellite Data Services archive.

A GOES-7 Visible animation from 21 September and a longer Infrared animation spanning the period 13-22 September are shown below (courtesy of Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS).

GOES-7 Visible (0.65 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-7 Visible (0.65 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-7 Infrared Window (11.25 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-7 Infrared Window (11.25 µm) images [click to play MP4 animation]

More information on Hugo is available from NWS Charleston and NWS Wilmington.

20-year anniversary of the March 1993 “Storm of the Century”

March 13th, 2013 |

Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

The 1214 March 1993 “Storm of the Century” (aka “the ’93 Superstorm” or “the Great Blizzard of 1993”) was one of the most significant storms to impact the eastern United States (NWS Wilmington NC summary). McIDAS images of EUMETSAT Meteosat-3 Infrared (11.5 µm) channel images (above) showed the storm as it initially began to experience rapid intensification in the Gulf of Mexico on 12 March. At the time, Meteosat-3 was on loan to the US and serving as the “GOES-East” satellite after the failure of GOES-6 in 1989.

On the following day (13 March), a larger-scale view of Meteosat-3 Infrared (11.5 µm) images (below) revealed the very large size of the storm as it moved along the Eastern Seaboard of the US. Some highlights of the storm included snowfall amounts as high as 56 inches at Mount LeConte in Tennessee, a wind gust to 144 mph at Mount Washington in New Hampshire, a minimum sea level pressure of 28.28 inches at White Plains in New York, and a post-storm record low temperature of -12º F in Burlington, Vermont.

Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

Meteosat-3 11.5 µm IR channel images (click image to play animation)

The corresponding large-scale view of Meteosat-3 Water Vapor (6.4 µm) images (below) showed the well-defined dry slot and large comma head associated with the storm.

Meteosat-3 6.4 µm water vapor channel images (click image to play animation)

Meteosat-3 6.4 µm water vapor channel images (click image to play animation)

A GOES-7 Visible (0.65 µm) image at 18:01 UTC or 1:01 PM Eastern Time on 13 March (below) showed several interesting aspects of the storm, including widespread stratucumulus cloud streets over the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean (due to cold air advection over warmer waters), and also a large cloud arc in the Pacific Ocean south of Mexico, which was the leading edge of a Tehuano mountain gap wind event (see Schultz, et al, 1997). A rope cloud marked the leading edge of the strong cold front, which at the time of the image had plunged as far southward as Honduras in Central America.

GOES-7 0.65 µm visible channel image

GOES-7 0.65 µm visible channel image (click to enlarge)