Blowing snow in North Dakota and Minnesota

January 18th, 2022 |

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images, with surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Day Snow-Fog RGB images (above) displayed widespread streamers of blowing snow (pale shades of white) across much of North Dakota and far northwestern Minnesota on 18 January 2022. Blowing snow was lofted from the surface by elongated horizontal convective rolls that developed in the wake of a strong cold frontal passage — surface winds gusted to 58 knots (67 mph) at Garrison in western North Dakota, and the surface visibility was reduced to zero at several locations. An arctic air mass behind the cold front helped the surface temperature drop to -22ยบ F at Willow City, ND the following morning.

A more uncluttered view — without plots of surface reports — is shown below (Interstates and major highways are plotted in gray). Some secondary highways were closed due to the ground blizzard conditions.

GOES-16 Day Snow-Fog RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Three days of Saharan Dust

January 18th, 2022 |

A large amount of Saharan Dust has been blowing off of the African continent for the past several days. The dust is moving to higher latitudes reaching as far north as southern Ireland. These strong dust events heavily affect air quality in the Canary Islands and a yellow alert is still in effect in the archipelago. The event is known locally in the Canaries as “La Calima.” The dust is predicted to continue moving toward northwest Europe.

Daytime true color images of the dust transport are shown for 1/16, 1/17, and 1/18 from 0900 UTC to 1800 UTC. These true-color images were taken from RealEarth, a free data visualization web tool.

GOES-16 data on 1/16/22 from 0900 to 1800 UTC showing daytime true color imagery.
GOES-16 data on 1/17/22 from 0900 to 1800 UTC showing daytime true color imagery.
GOES-16 data on 1/18/22 from 0900 to 1800 UTC showing daytime true color imagery.

The GOES-16 Dust RGB product shows plumes of dust (magenta) still coming off the coast of west Africa and thick clouds (orange) associated with plumes farther north.

GOES-16 Dust RGB product on 1/18/22 from 1920 to 2110 UTC.