Snow cover in Texas

January 1st, 2021 |

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB and Land Surface Temperature product [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB and Land Surface Temperature product [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Day Snow-Fog RGB and Land Surface Temperature product images on 01 January 2021 (above) showed a large portion of western and southwestern Texas in the wake of a winter storm that occurred on the previous day. On the RGB images, snow cover appeared as shades of red, with low clouds and fog taking on shades of white (shades of green denoted bare ground).


With some areas receiving storm total accumulations of 8-15 inches, the deep snow cover kept Land Surface Temperature (LST) values from rising past the low-mid 30s F during the day — even at locations such as Fort Stockton (KFST), which remained generally cloud-free during the daytime hours (their daily maximum temperature was only 36ºF). Over adjacent bare ground areas, LST values rose into the 50s and 60s F with a full day of sunshine. Air temperatures — measured by sheltered sensors located about 5 feet above the ground — were sometimes 10-15ºF cooler than LST values over bare ground, but over deep snow cover the air temperatures were generally only 5-8ºF warmer than the LST values.

===== 02 January Update =====

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB and Land Surface Temperature product [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB and Land Surface Temperature product [click to play animation | MP4]

On the following day, a lack of clouds allowed a good view of the areal coverage of remaining snow cover (above). During the peak of daytime heating, GOES-16 LST values were held to the middle 30s F over the areas with deeper snow cover — while air temperatures rose into the 40s F  (although the daily maximum temperature was only 40 at Big Spring KBPG). Over adjacent areas of bare ground, afternoon air temperatures rising into the 50s and 60s F were seen.

===== 04 January Update =====

GOES-16 True Color RGB images on 02, 03 and 04 January [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 True Color RGB images on 02, 03 and 04 January [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of GOES-16 True Color RGB images during the period 02-04 January created using Geo2Grid (above) showed the gradual melting of most of the snow cover across western Texas.

NOAA-20 VIIRS views of the Great Lakes in December 2020

January 1st, 2021 |

Daily NOAA-20 VIIRS True-Color images over Lake Superior (times as indicated in the captions). Click to animate

As noted here, the ftp site that holds imagery from the CIMSS/SSEC Direct Broadcast site (link) includes daytime True-Color imagery (spectacular imagery!) derived from the NOAA-20 and Suomi-NPP VIIRS instrument. Daily sectorized views of each of the Great Lakes are created, and these can be strung together, as in this web post, to show the changes around the Great Lakes during the month of December. The animation above shows the changes over Lake Superior during December. (Click here to view an mp4 animation rather than the very large animated gif).

The toggle below compares the view over/around Lake Superior on 1 and 31 December 2020. The increase in snowcover is apparent. Ice does not appear widespread on Lake Superior however.  The 31 December 2020 Lake Ice Analysis (image available here) from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) (source, from here), shows little ice.  The MIRS Lake Ice Concentration (shown at bottom, available via an LDM feed from CIMSS), similarly shows little ice in the Lakes.

NOAA-20 VIIRS True Color imagery over Lake Superior, 1 and 31 December 2020 (Click to enlarge)

Animations similar to Lake Superior’s can be accessed in this webpost as mp4s: (Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario) or as animated gifs (Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario).

MIRS estimates of Lake Ice, from ATMS on Suomi-NPP, 0800 UTC on 1 January 2021