Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal

May 18th, 2020 |

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-8 Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images (above) showed Cyclone Amphan during the period when it was rapidly intensifying to a Category 5 storm (ADT | SATCON) by 06 UTC on 18 May 2020. In fact, Ampham became the strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Bay of Bengal basin.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images as viewed using RealEarth (below) provided a more detailed view of Amphan shortly before the time of its peak intensity.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

On the following night, toggles between VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (below) showed a subtle signature of mesospheric airglow waves propagating northward away from the center of Cyclone Amphan.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS 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]

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

40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption

May 18th, 2020 |

GOES-3 Visible (0.65 µm) images at 1545 and 1615 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-3 Visible (0.65 µm) images at 1545 and 1615 UTC [click to enlarge]

NOAA GOES-3 Visible (0.65 µm) images at 1545 and 1615 UTC (above) showed the volcanic cloud shortly after the explosive eruption of Mount St. Helens on 18 May 1980. GOES-3 was decommissioned in 2016.

The corresponding GOES-3 Infrared (11.5 µm) image at 1545 UTC (below) appeared to display a small “enhanced-V” or cold/warm (-65ºC/-47ºC) thermal couplet signature downwind (east) of the volcanic cloud’s overshooting top.

GOES-3 Infrared (11.5 µm) image at 1545 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-3 Infrared (11.5 µm) image at 1545 UTC [click to enlarge]

A comparison of GOES-3 Visible and Infrared images (below) showed that a large portion of the volcanic cloud exhibited IR brightness temperatures of -60ºC or colder (darker red color enhancement) as the feature moved rapidly eastward during the first 10 hours following the eruption.

GOES-3 Visible (0.65 µm, top) and Infrared Window (11.5 µm, bottom) images [click to play animation]

GOES-3 Visible (0.65 µm, top) and Infrared (11.5 µm, bottom) images [click to play animation]

The volcanic cloud was also captured on NASA SMS-2 Visible (0.62 µm) and Infrared (11.6 µm) imagery (below). An animation that cycles through both SMS-2 Visible and Infrared images can be seen here.

NASA SMS 2 Visible (0.62 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 anmation]

NASA SMS-2 Visible (0.62 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 animation]

NASA SMS 2 Infrared (11.6 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 animation]

NASA SMS-2 Infrared (11.6 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 animation]

SMS-2 “Visible/Infrared Sandwich” Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images are shown below.

NASA SMS-2 Visible/Infrared Sandwich RGB images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 animation]

NASA SMS-2 Visible/Infrared Sandwich RGB images (credit: Tim Schmit, ASPB/CIMSS) [click to play MP4 animation]

Archived GOES-3 and SMS-2 imagery was provided by SSEC Satellite Data Services.

The monitoring of volcanicashplumes 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.