Severe thunderstorms in Texas

May 24th, 2022 |

GOES-16 “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-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) include time-matched SPC Storm Reports — and showed the development severe thunderstorms across parts of Texas (and far southeastern New Mexico) during the afternoon and early evening hours on 24 May 2022. These storms produced hail as large as 4.00 inches in diameter, a tornado and damaging winds as strong as 78 mph. Signatures of Above-Anvil Cirrus Plumes (reference | VISIT training) were also evident .

In the corresponding 1-minute GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below), pulsing overshooting tops exhibited infrared brightness temperatures in the -70 to -79ºC range.

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in blue [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Severe thunderstorms in New Mexico and Texas

May 23rd, 2022 |

GOES-16 “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-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) include time-matched SPC Storm Reports — and showed the development of 2 supercell thunderstorms near the New Mexico / Texas Panhandle border late in the day on 23 May 2022. The northern storm produced hail as large as 2.50 inches in diameter, while the southern storm produced a very large tornado and damaging winds as strong as 80 mph. Signatures of Above-Anvil Cirrus Plumes (reference | VISIT training) were also seen.

In the corresponding 1-minute GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below), warmer AACP signatures (shades of yellow) were evident, downwind of cold overshooting tops — these pulsing overshooting tops exhibited infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -77ºC.

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in cyan [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Tropical Invest 90L in the Gulf of Mexico

May 22nd, 2022 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed that a decaying Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) produced a low-level Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) over the Gulf of Mexico on 22 May 2022. The coldest MCS overshooting tops exhibited  infrared brightness temperature of -77C around 1401 UTC. GOES-16 Visible (ABI spectral Band 2) Derived Motion Winds tracked MCV cloud motions with velocities as high as 38 knots. As the MCV approached the Gulf Coast, its vorticity to helped to initiate the development of new convection just to the north.

GOES-16 Visible images from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (below) include contours of deep-layer wind shear at 20 UTC — and showed that Invest 90L was moving northward in an environment characterized by low values of shear.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with contours of deep-layer wind shear at 20 UTC [click to enlarge]

Severe thunderstorms in Michigan produce a fatal EF-3 tornado in Gaylord

May 20th, 2022 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images, with time-matched Local Storm Reports plotted in blue [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed thunderstorms that moved across the northern portion of Lower Michigan on 20 May 2022. These storms produced hail (up to 3.0 inches in diameter), damaging winds (as high as 76 mph) and an EF-3 tornado that struck Gaylord (SPC Storm Reports | NWS Gaylord summary). Note that METAR reports were not available at Gaylord (and also about 30 miles to the west-southwest, at Bellaire) after the time of the tornado and damaging wind reports, due to widespread power outages (which affected about 1/3 of customers in Ostego County). 

A 2-panel comparison of GOES-16 Visible and Infrared images — which includes time-matched plots of SPC Storm Reports — is shown below.

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom) images, with time-matched SPC Storm Reports plotted in red/cyan [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Pulsing overshooting tops exhibited cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -79oC — which represented an Equilibrium Level (EL) overshoot of 1 to 1.5 km, according to a special Gaylord rawinsonde launched at 19 UTC (below).

Plot of 19 UTC rawinsonde data at Gaylord, Michigan [click to enlarge]

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GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images at 1948 UTC, with the initial tornado report location plotted in blue [click to enlarge|

A toggle between GOES-16 Visible and Infrared images at 1948 UTC (above) includes the initial tornado report location plotted in blue. Note the offset between the overshooting top and the tornado report — this is due to parallax (below).

GOES-16 parallax correction direction (green) and magnitude (in km, red) [click to enlarge]

As the thunderstorms initially began moving inland from Lake Michigan and producing damaging winds near the northwest coast of Lower Michigan, a toggle between Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) revealed overshooting tops with infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -87.7oC (darker purple enhancement).

Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images, with Local Storm Reports plotted in blue [click to enlarge]