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]

Mesoscale Convective Vortex in Texas

May 12th, 2020 |

vGOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed the cyclonic circulation of a Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) in the Hill Country of Texas (east of San Angelo, KSJT) on 12 May 2020. The animation begins with 5-minute CONUS sector images, then transitions to 1-minute images as a Mesoscale Domain Sector is positioned over the area at 1529 UTC. As the MCV approached a cluster of ongoing convection, a few tornadoes were reported, likely due to the MCV enhancing low-level wind shear (SPC Mesoscale Discussion).

A more subtle signature of the MCV circulation was also evident in GOES-16 Low-level Water Vapor (7.34 µm) images (below).

GOES-16 Low-level Water Vapor (7.34 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Low-level Water Vapor (7.34 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]