Blowing dust across Mongolia and China

May 6th, 2021 |

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

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

JMA Himawari-8 Dust RGB images (created using Geo2Grid) covering the 48-hour period from 21 UTC on 04 May to 21 UTC on 06 May 2021 (above) revealed multiple plumes of blowing dust (brighter shades magenta/pink) which originated over parts of Mongolia — and were then transported southeastward and eastward across northeastern China.

Surface analyses from the Korean Meteorological Agency (below) showed an impressive pressure gradient between a midlatidude cyclone (moving southeastward from Mongolia into China) and high pressure moving southward behind it. Some of the airborne dust was entrained into the circulation of this low pressure system.

Surface analyses during the period from 21 UTC on 0 May to 21 UTC on 06 May [click to enlarge | MP4]

Surface analyses during the period from 21 UTC on 04 May to 21 UTC on 06 May [click to enlarge | MP4]

VIIRS True Color RGB mages from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 viewed using RealEarth (below) showed the hazy arc of blowing dust along the trailing cold front (south of the cyclone in northeastern China) on 6 May.

VIIRS True Color RGB mages from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB mages from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

Offshore transport of glacial silt from Southeast Alaska

April 25th, 2021 |

GOES-17 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 (GOES-West) CIMSS Natural Color RGB images (above) depicted a large offshore surge of airborne glacial silt from Southeast Alaska on 25 April 2021. During the preceding week, abnormally warm and dry conditions across much of Southeast Alaska (Juneau | Ketchikan | Sitka | Yakutat) promoted significant snow melt which exposed a great deal of surface glacial silt.

The leading edge of the aerosol could also be seen in GOES-17 Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm) images (below). The presence of a very dry air mass over the region (rawinsonde data: Yakutat | Annette Island) allowed some of the lower-tropospheric aerosol to be sensed by this spectral band.

GOES-17 Near-Infrared "Cirrus" (1.37 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Near-Infrared “Cirrus” (1.37 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) provided a clearer view of the areal coverage of glacial silt moving westward off the coast.

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

With ample illumination from the Moon (which was in the Waxing Gibbous phase, at 96% of Full),  the emergence of airborne particles off the Southeast Alaska coast was seen in a Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image at 1221 UTC (below).

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Tropical Cyclone Joba makes landfall in Tanzania

April 24th, 2021 |

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared (10.7 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared (10.7 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

US Space Force EWS-G1 Infrared (10.7 µm) images (above) showed Tropical Cyclone Jobo as it moved west-northwestward across the Indian Ocean during the 23-24 April 2021 period, eventually making landfall in Tanzania as a weakening Tropical Depression. Jobo was traversing warm sea surface temperatures during its westward trek.

A sequence of VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP as viewed using RealEarth (below) provided higher-resolution views of the various stages of convection associated with Jobo during the 22-24 April period.

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

Rapid intensification of Super Typhoon Surigae

April 16th, 2021 |

JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation]

JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation]

2.5-minute interval rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) showed Typhoon Surigae undergoing rapid intensification (ADT | SATCON) to become a Category 4 storm as of 18 UTC on 16 April 2021.

A DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) displayed a well-defined eye, with distinct spiral bands feeding into the eyewall.

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1944 UTC [click to enlarge]

DMSP-16 SSMIS Microwave (85 GHz) image at 1944 UTC [click to enlarge]

After sunrise, Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) showed the relatively compact eye, with hints of low-level mesovortices within the eye.

JMA Himawari-8 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

JMA Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

===== 17 April Update =====

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

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

The prolonged period of rapid intensification continued overnight, and as of 12 UTC on 17 April Surigae had become a Category 5 Super Typhoon — 2.5-minute interval rapid scan Himawari-8 Infrared images (above) showed the well-defined eye as the storm tracked northwestward across the Philippine Sea (just east of the Philippines). A faster animation (GIF | MP4) helped to highlight the trochoidal motion (wobble) of the eye — a behavior often seen with intense tropical cyclones. The 21 UTC advisory from JTWC listed sustained winds of 165 knots (and objective intensity estimates from ADT and SATCON were around 170 knots), making Surigae the only tropical cyclone on record to reach that intensity during the month of April.



An animation of Himawari-8 Infrared images with an overlay of deep-layer wind shear (below) indicated that Surigae was moving through a region of low to moderate wind shear; the storm was also moving across very warm water (SST + OHC).

Himawari-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 18 UTC [click to enlarge]

Around the time that Surigae was reaching its peak intensity, a Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image several hours before sunrise (below) revealed concentric mesospheric airglow waves (reference) propagating away from the energetic Category 5 tropical cyclone.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image [click to enlarge]

In closer view of time-matched Himawari-8 Infrared and Suomi NPP Day/Night Band images (below), a cluster of bright DNB pixels highlighted the presence of lightning activity along the inner edge of the northern eyewall.

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Infrared Window (10.4 µm) and Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]