Geostationary satellite views of the most rain over 72-hours in 2007

February 27th, 2021 |

The record for the most rain over a 72-hour period was in late February 2007, with 3.930m (154.72″)! This was on Reunion Island, associated with Tropical Cyclone Gamede in South Indian Ocean. The island is east of Madagascar. This island also holds the record for the most rain (4,869 mm (191.7 in)) over a 96-hour period, associated with the same event. More on this case can be found in this 2009 BAMS article.

Meteosat-8

While the view of the cyclone from EUMETSAT‘s MET-8 was on the edge of the viewing area, the infrared window loop was still impressive.

A 3-day color-enhanced infrared window loop from EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-8 geostationary imager.

A longer loops of 3 and 4 days were also generated. Which shows Tropical Cyclone Favio as well. For these images, the coldest brightness temperatures have the green/yellow/red/pink colors. A one-day loop (February 25, 2007) in both mp4 and animated gif formats.

Meteosat-7

EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-7, due to its location over the Indian Ocean, had a more direct view of these cyclones.

A 3-day color-enhanced infrared window loop from EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-7 geostationary imager.

Note that the view angle is improved over Meteosat-8, but the image frequency is reduced. A longer Meteosat-7 loop was also generated. Again, Tropical Cyclone Favio can be seen.

A loop of Meteosat-7 visible band from February 25, 2007.

Visible loops (mp4 format) from February 23 and 24 and 26, 2007. The same loops as animated gifs: February 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2007.

H/T

Thanks to @Weather_History for the post on this event.

The above satellite data are from EUMETSAT, accessed via the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) Data Services. The images were generated with McIDAS-X. More on EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Third Generation will appear in the Bulletin of the AMS.

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.

 

 

First Rapid Scan Satellite Imagery of Volcanic Ash Plumes: July 1980 (Mount St. Helens)

July 22nd, 2020 |

 

SMS-2

SMS-2 Visible and infrared (IR) from July 23, 1980. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The main modern Mount St. Helens eruption was May 18, 1980 — yet there were also later paroxysmal eruptions, such as on June 12/13, 1980. Geostationary satellite imagery from NASA’s SMS-2 (Synchronous Meteorological Satellite) monitored two more Mount St. Helens eruptions on July 22th (local time), 1980, as shown above. Note that in “UTC-time”, the eruption took place on July 23rd. A similar side-by-side SMS-2 visible and infrared animation.  This may be the first* “rapid scan” imaging of a volcanic ash plume (with a 3-minute cadence for almost an hour), where “rapid scan” is defined as satellite imagery less than 5 min apart.

There is a long history of rapid scan imaging from geostationary imagers, including from SMS-1/2, ATS-1, ATS-3, GOES-1, GOES-7 series, GOES-8 series, GOES-14 , Meteosat, etc and of course, AHI and the GOES-R series ABI where 1-min imagery is routine. Here’s a page where users can search historical meso-scale sector locations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services.  

The monitoring of volcanic ash plumes and their attributes have greatly increased from 1980 to today. Moving from qualitative (somewhat after the fact imagery) to quantitative applications (that are much more timely)! Due to the large number of volcanoes, coupled with the increase in satellite observations, satellite observations are key in monitoring the world’s volcanoes for aviation safety and other uses. More on volcanic ash monitoring.

SMS-2

A similar loop as above (SMS-2 Visible and IR from July 23, 1980), but the in mp4 format. Both the day before and after, SMS-02 was in a routine scan mode of imagery every 30 minutes. The rapid scan imagery was just on July 23, 1980 for approximately one hour, starting at 00:14 UTC. 

This webpage allows to customize the loop speed of the SMS visible and infrared side-by-side animation. This uses the hanis software. 

SMS-2 Visible from July 23, 1980

SMS-2 Visible from July 23, 1980 covering approximately one hour. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The shadows from the plume are evident. 

A longer duration (4-hr) SMS-02 IR animation (mp4) or (animated gif). The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  Note the less than ideal image navigation. 

GOES-3

NOAA’s GOES-3 was also operating, although not in a rapid scan mode, so imagery was every 30 minutes. 

GOES-3 IR July 1980.

GOES-3 IR July 23, 1980 over 4 hours. The red square represents the approximate location of Mount St. Helens.  [click to play animation | MP4]

The two pulses are clearly evident. 

H/T

Thanks to Jean Phillips, the SSEC Data Services, and the Scott’s (Bachmeier and Lindstrom). NASA SMS-2 and NOAA GOES-3 data are via the University of Wisconsin-Madison SSEC Satellite Data Services. More GOES-R series information

* There may have been rapid scan satellite observations of volcanic ash plumes prior to this case in 1980, and if you know of any, please contact T. Schmit.

UW/Madison CIMSS at 40

July 14th, 2020 |

CIMSS (Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies) is now 40 years old, as it was established in 1980. From “about CIMSS: “… is a Cooperative Institute formed through a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1980. CIMSS operates as an institute within the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC)”.

A GOES-3 visible loop from July 14, 1980. Displayed with McIDAS-X software. [Click image to play animation]

The CIMSS mission includes three goals:

  • Foster collaborative research among NOAA, NASA, and the University in those aspects of atmospheric and earth system sciences that exploit the use of satellite technology;
  • Serve as a center at which scientists and engineers working on problems of mutual interest can focus on satellite-related research in atmospheric and earth system science;
  • Stimulate the training of scientists and engineers in the disciplines involved in atmospheric and earth science.
A visible loop from July 14, 1980 from NASA’s SMS geostationary satellite. [Click image to play animation]
An infrared loop from July 14, 1980 from NASA’s SMS geostationary satellite. [Click image to play animation]
A visible full disk image from July 14, 1980 at 1730 UTC from NASA’s SMS geostationary satellite.

The same image, but full resolution (11 MB).

Then and Now

Two full disk images, separated by 40 years.

The above image pair compare a NASA SMS from 1980 to an GOES-16 ABI true color composite from 2020. Both images are from July 14th. The GOES-16 data was generated using Geo2Grid software.

The data are via SSEC Data Services.