Solstice solar eclipse shadow moving across southern Asia

June 21st, 2020 |

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

The shadow of a rare June Solstice annular solar eclipse moved across parts of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southern Asia on 21 June 2020. In Asia, the path of the shadow of totality was captured on Himawari-8 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (above).

The shadow was also evident in FY-2G Full Disk visible imagery, from the SSEC Geostationary Satellite Imagery site (below).

FY-2G Visible images [click to enlarge]

FY-2G Visible images [click to enlarge]

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.

Typhoon Vongfong makes landfall in the Philippines

May 14th, 2020 |

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

JMA 2.5-minute rapid scan Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Typhoon Vongfong during the 24 hours covering its rapid intensification to Category 3 intensity on 13 May (ADT | SATCON) and eventual landfall on Samar Island in the Philippines as a Category 2 storm on 14 May 2020. There were intermittent appearances of a well-defined eye, as well as multiple eyewall convective bursts during that period.

A toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) offered a nighttime view of Vongfong at 1703 UTC on 13 May. There was ample illumination from the Moon (in the Waning Gibbous phase, at 61% of Full) to provide a detailed Day/Night Band image of the tropical cyclone when it was at Category 2 intensity.

NOAA-20 Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images as viewed using RealEarth (below) showed Vongfong around the time it was making landfall shortly after 04 UTC  on 14 May.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Blowing dust originating from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia

May 12th, 2020 |

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

JMA Himawari-8 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using Geo2Grid (above) revealed a long plume of airborne dust from the Gobi Desert, which curved cyclonically across northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, eventually moving over the Sea of Japan on 12 May 2020.

A longer day/night animation of Himawari-8 Dust RGB images (below) indicated that the dust plume (shades of pink) originated in Mongolia early on 11 May, along a cold front associated with a strong midlatitude cyclone over northeastern China.

Himawari-8 Dust RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Dust RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image as viewed using RealEarth (below) showed the dust plume at 04 UTC on 12 May.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image, with plots of surface reports [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB image, with plots of surface reports [click to enlarge]

Time series plots of surface report data (below) showed that close to the source of the plume in Mongolia winds gusted as high as 47 knots with blowing dust at Ulan-Bator (ZMUB) — while just across the China border surface visibility was briefly restricted to less than 1 mile at Hohhot (ZBHH).

Time series of surface report data from Ulan-Bator, Mongolia [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of surface report data from Ulan-Bator, Mongolia [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface report data from Hohhot, China [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of surface report data from Hohhot, China [click to enlarge]