Winter storm affecting the southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley

January 10th, 2021 |

GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images, with hourly surface weather type plotted in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images, with hourly surface weather type plotted in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (above) showed widespread precipitation that was developing across the southern High Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley on 10 January 2021. A closed middle-tropospheric low was providing forcing for ascent as it moved eastward across the region — and its cyclonic circulation was evident in the Water Vapor imagery. Storm total snowfall accumulations were as high as 11 inches in Texas, 8 inches in New Mexico, 6.5 inches in Louisiana and 4.5 inches in Mississippi.

GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB images (below) revealed pockets of banded convection, whose glaciated cloud tops appeared as shades of green to yellow.

GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 11 January Update =====

GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB and Day Snow-Fog RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB and Day Snow-Fog RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

On the following day, gaps in low-level cloud cover allowed the areal extent of resulting snow cover to be seen in GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction (snow = brighter shades of green) and Day Snow-Fog (snow = darker shades of red) RGB images (above).

A toggle between VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images from Suomi NPP at 1936 UTC (below) provided another example of a RGB variant that is useful for the discrimination of low cloud vs. snow — snow cover appeared as shades of cyan in the False Color image.

VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images from Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images from Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]