Satellite-derived instability ahead of widespread severe winds over South Dakota and Minnesota

May 12th, 2022 |
GOES-16 Visible imagery, 1841 – 2356 UTC, 12 May 2022

Storm Reports from SPC for 12 May 2022, (also shown below), show an extraordinary number of severe wind reports over eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. Visible imagery from the CSPP Geosphere site, above, shows the convective system responsible for the widespread winds lifting northeastward out of Nebraska and moving over the Missouri River Valley.

Storm Prediction Center Storm Reports, 12 May 2022 (click to enlarge)

The animation below shows Clean Window infrared imagery (10.3 µm) overlain on top of Clear-sky only GOES-16 Derived Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). CAPE values increase into the mid-2000s (J/Kg) as the convection lifts toward the South Dakota/Minnesota border: abundant instability is present.

GOES-16 Band 13 Infrared Imagery (10.3 µm) and GOES-16 Derived CAPE, 1821 – 2316 UTC on 12 May 2022 (Click to enlarge)

NOAA-20 overflew this area just after 1800 UTC, and the NUCAPS profiles derived from CrIS and ATMS on board that satellite tell a similar story of instability. Gridded fields of the 850-500 mb Lapse Rate, of Total Precipitable Water (TPW) and of the Total Totals Index, below, show a corridor of instability and moisture over extreme southeast South Dakota. Lapse rates are between 8 and 9o C/km, TPW values are near 1.5″, and Total Total Index values exceed 55! Convection moving towards this region and along this axis of instability would not be inhibited by the environment. NUCAPS Sounding Availability points shown in the image below are mostly green: the infrared retrievals converged to a solution.

Gridded Values of 850-500 mb Lapse Rate, Total Precipitable Water, and Total Totals Index, ca. 1830 UTC on 12 May 2022. Also shown: NUCAPS Sounding Availability points (click to enlarge)

What do the individual NUCAPS Profiles look like? Two lines of profiles over eastern Nebraska are shown below. Sounding readout values from NSharp in AWIPS show large MUCAPS values, and a very well-mixed atmosphere.

NUCAPS profiles over eastern Nebraska/southeastern South Dakota, at the points indicated, ca. 1840 UTC on 12 May 2022 (Click to enlarge)
NUCAPS profiles over central Nebraska, at the points indicated, ca. 1840 UTC on 12 May 2022 (Click to enlarge)

AWIPS imagery in this post was created using the NOAA/TOWR-S AWIPS Cloud Instance.


GOES-18 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in red [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-18 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images with time-matched plots of SPC Storm Reports (above) showed the northeastward propagation of the derecho — along with a second Mesoscale Convective System in its wake — as it produced wind gusts as high as 107 mph in South Dakota (at 2125 UTC), hail as large as 2.50 inches in diameter in Nebraska (at 0007 UTC) and several tornadoes. Note that this early GOES-18 imagery is preliminary and non-operational.

The corresponding 1-minute GOES-18 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below) extend a bit past sunset — and revealed pulsing overshooting tops as cold as -70 to -75ºC (white pixels embedded within areas of black).

GOES-18 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Haboob over Nebraska on 05-12-22 seen by GOES-16

May 12th, 2022 |

GOES-16 provided a view of a haboob over Nebraska on 05-12-2022. A haboob is an intense dust storm or “wall of dust” that occurs in dry conditions in high winds, which were recorded in Nebraska up to 80 mph. Haboobs can bring low visibility and even no-visibility blackouts that cause road closures. These dust storms are typically rare in the midwest. However, moderate drought conditions have made dust available in the Plains region. Similar dust storms were reported in areas of South Dakota and Iowa as the same system moved eastward.

A haboob, an intense dust storm indicated by a red arrow, is shown by a GOES-16 true color animation on 05-12-2022 from 20:00 to 22:00UTC over southern Nebraska. This visualization is available in RealEarth.

GOES-16 GLM Lightning detection over Minnesota

May 12th, 2022 |

Wednesday, 05-11-2022, brought storm damage and copious amounts of lightning over Minnesota and parts of South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) detected the flash extent density over these areas. A NEXRAD radar composite shows a large bow echo signature around 05-12-2022 01:25Z that spanned the entire lower half of Minnesota. Storms are still currently pushing through eastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin and forecast to bring severe thunderstorms throughout the afternoon. There are also continuing threats of flooding in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

GOES-16 GLM Flash Extent Density and Band 13 reflectance on 05-12-2022 from 00:03 UTC to 16:43 UTC.
GOES-16 Band 13 reflectance with NEXRAD Reflectivity on 05-12-2022 from 00:05 UTC to 16:45 UTC.

The GOES-16 GLM Flash Extent Density product is available on RealEarth here. Near-real-time GLM visualizations are available as well as archived visualizations of GLM going back 3-4 days.

Early ABI Images from GOES-18

May 12th, 2022 |

NOAA and NASA recently released the first ABI (Advanced Baseline Imager) imagery from GOES-18 (including this 2-min video). GOES-T was launched on March 1st. In fact, both GOES-16 and GOES-17 monitored the rocket signature. GOES-18 is the third in the GOES-R series and is currently located above approximately 90W. Soon GOES-18 will move to a “near West” position. GOES-18 is slated to become NOAA’s operational GOES-West in early 2023 after going through many tests. Before that, the ABI on GOES-18 will become the operational imager during two GOES-17 Loop Heat Pipe times. Also see this satellite liaison post.

Spectral Loop of 16 bands (from the Full Disk sector)

A true color composite image, along with all 16 spectral bands of the preliminary, non-operational GOES-18 ABI on May 5, 2022.

The above loop as an mp4 and animated gif. The ABI has 16 spectral bands, 2 in the visible, 4 in the near-infrared (or “near-visible”) and 10 in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. There are also ABI band “fact sheets” in Spanish and French.

Another view of the 16 spectral bands of the ABI, both as an mp4 and animated gif. Or see this loop of the true color imagery during the day and an infrared window at night.

The 16 spectral bands of the ABI on May 5, 2022 at 18 UTC.

The “low-level” water vapor band (10) is very important. A loop showing 2 low’s over North America.

GOES-18 ABI “water vapor” band 10 (7.3 micrometers) loop from May 5 and 6, 2022. (click to play)

Of course the ABI Full Disk sectors also views over much of the disk, including of Hudson Bay with a day snow fog RGB (mp4) and South America (fog and suspended sediment).

Ice and clouds over Hudson Bay from GOES-18 RGB on May 5, 2022. (click to play)
Fog along the west coast of South America on May 5, 2022 as seen by the GOES-18 ABI day snow fog RGB. (click to play)
True color imagery showing the suspended sediment of the South American coast on May 5, 2022. (click to play)
A combined full disk GOES-18 loop over a day (true color and longwave window) from May 6 and 7, 2022.

ABI 16-Panel (CONUS region)

The 16 spectral bands of the (Preliminary/Non-operational) GOES-18 ABI from May 5, 2022. (Click to play)
The 16 spectral bands of the (Preliminary/Non-operational) GOES-18 ABI from May 6, 06 UTC to May 7, 06 UTC. (Click to play)

The ABI has 16 spectral bands, 2 in the visible, 4 in the near-infrared (or “near-visible”) and 10 in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. GOES-18 image covering the contiguous United States collected by the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) in 16 spectral bands on May 5, 2022.  This 16-panel image shows the two visible, four near-infrared and 10 infrared channels on the ABI. The visible near-IR bands are gray-colored, while the infrared bands have the warmer brightness temperatures mapped to warmer colors. The different appearance of each band is due to how each band reflects or absorbs radiation. Each spectral band was scanned at approximately the same time, starting at approximately 18 UTC. The above mp4 loop and one of the frames.

Meso-scale sectors

The ABI scans two smaller meso-scale regions every 60 seconds, which provides 30-sec imagery if the regions overlap. These channels help forecasters and others distinguish phenomena such as clouds, water vapor, fires, smoke, dust, ice, land/sea surface temperatures and volcanic ash.

A combined visible and infrared “sandwich” view over Minnesota and Wisconsin early on May 11, 2022. Images every one minute. (Click to play)

Recent meso-scale coverage from the GOES-18 ABI include: Texas, New Mexico and Minnesota (mp4 and animated gif). A similar loop, but just showing the ABI “red” visible band.

1-min meso “sandwich” imagery over Texas on May 5, 2022 as seen by GOES-18 ABI. (click to play)


Thanks to the many (thousands) who made the GOES-18 ABI possible. These GOES-18 ABI are early images (preliminary and non-operational, calibration improvements are possible. Both McIDAS-X and geo2grid software was used in generating these images. More about GOES-16 and GOES-17.