Alaskan wildfire smoke

June 22nd, 2022 |

GOES-18 True Color RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-18 images in this blog post are preliminary and non-operational

GOES-18 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) showed smoke from Alaskan wildfires that had been transported southward over Kodiak Island and the northern Gulf of Alaska. Most of this smoke remained aloft — note that although Kodiak began reporting smoke late in the day, the surface visibility remained at 10 miles (below).

Plot of surface report data from Kodiak, Alaska [click to enlarge]

A composite of VIIRS True Color imagery (below) showed the location of active fires over Alaska on that day.

Composite of VIIRS True Color imagery, with fire thermal signatures shown in red [click to enlarge]

Hail damage swaths in Nebraska and Iowa

June 20th, 2022 |

GOES-16 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Day Land Cloud Fire RGB images, with and without Cities labels [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Day Land Cloud Fire RGB images (above) revealed several hail damage swaths — which appeared as brighter shades of yellow in the NDVI images, and shades of brown in the RGB images — across parts of Nebraska and Iowa on 20 June 2022. The swaths of cropland damage were the result of wind-driven hail events that occurred on 06 June, 07 June and 14 June. One of the swaths was nearly 90 miles long (due to a series of training thunderstorms), with some swaths as wide as 10 miles in places.

30-second GOES-18 images of the SpaceX SARah-1 launch

June 18th, 2022 |

GOES-18 Water Vapor, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-18 images in this blog post are preliminary and non-operational

Overlapping 1-minute Mesoscale Sectors provided 30-second GOES-18 Water Vapor, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images (above) that revealed thermal signatures of the SpaceX launch of the SARah-1 Mission from Vandenberg Space Force Station in California at 14:19:00 UTC on 18 June 2022.

GOES-18 Water Vapor, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images at 14:21:55 UTC [click to enlarge]

Signatures of Falcon 9’s Stage 1 booster were seen immediately post-launch (for example, at 14:21:55 UTC, above), as well during its “entry burn” to initiate a launch site landing (at 14:26:25 UTC, below).

GOES-18 Water Vapor, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images at 14:26:25 UTC [click to enlarge]

Of particular interest was the brief expansion of hot water vapor and CO2 produced by initiation of the Stage 1 “boostback burn” (as seen in Water Vapor and Shortwave Infrared images at 14:22:55 UTC, below).

GOES-18 Water Vapor, Near-Infrared and Shortwave Infrared images at 14:22:55 UTC [click to enlarge]

Plume RGB images (below) provided an integrated view of the rocket booster’s hot/bright thermal signature as well as the expanding cloud of water vapor / CO2.

Plume RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

A schematic of the Stage 1 trajectory is shown below.

Schematic of Falcon 9 Stage 1 booster rocket trajectory [click to enlarge]

Kudos to Todd Beltracci, The Aerospace Corporation, for providing a heads-up on this rocket launch.

ProbSevere and LightningCast over La Crosse, Wisconsin

June 15th, 2022 |

ProbSevere is a weather product that uses GOES-16 data to help predict the probability of any severe weather (hail, wind, or tornados) happening in the next 60 minutes. ProbSevere LightningCast predicts the probability that a GLM Lightning observation will occur in the next 60 minutes. Below are examples of these products over the Western Wisconsin area as a convective system rolls through La Crosse, Wisconsin.

The ProbSevere probability product imaged as contours, overlayed with GOES-16 Day Cloud Convection RGB for 06-15-2022 from 20:00 to 20:22Z near La Crosse, Wisconsin [Click to enlarge].
The LightningCast probability product imaged as contours of 75, 50, 25, and 10 percent, overlayed with GOES-16 Day Cloud Convection RGB for 06-15-2022 from 20:00 to 20:22Z near La Crosse, Wisconsin [Click to enlarge].