This will be a short post to update you on some incredible satellite imagery that is assisting forecasters today. Some of it is very new and due to some incredible hard work behind the scenes at CIMSS/SSEC University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA SPoRT, we have these available for the blogs and some of it in operations at the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, the Ocean Prediction Center, the NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch, and the Hurricane Center. Thank you everyone for your help!
The Suomi NPP VIIRS Day-Night Band image above shows Sandy overnight with a “visible” like image thanks to our full moon. This same full moon is already aiding in the astronomical high tides on top of the storm surge and large fetch. At last report, Atlantic City is completely underwater by a few feet and chunks of boardwalk are destroyed up and down the NJ coastline.
The GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations (SRSO) is running at the NCWCP today to assist the forecasters with 1-min imagery at 1 km resolution. This could help HPC, OPC, and SAB look for structural changes in Sandy as she makes her approach to shore this evening. Note the complete lack of cloud-to-ground lightning in the core of the storm, while you see occasional lightning strikes in the bands hundreds of miles to the east. This is definitely one of the larges storms I’ve seen in my relatively short career!
Last week I started to describe some of the upper-level features that would play a role in moving Sandy towards the East Coast. Today, the red “L” indicates the approximate location of the upper-level low that is cutting off and moving Sandy towards the coast. The black “L” is Sandy and shows the proximity. The red area highlighted shows the dry, stratospheric air on the periphery of Sandy, but notice how there is no sign of that over the hurricane? Sandy has been able to re-attain its more tropical look which has led to significant deepening and increases in wind. This tool has been used at HPC to help with the placement and timing of the features when compared to model solutions.
The MODIS RGB Air Mass product above shows a much higher resolution image of the Sandy-Upper-low interaction. I again show the approximate location of the upper-low with the red “L” and the outlined area is the dry stratospheric air and notice there is more than in the previous image. A full transition to extratropical will occur tonight, but that doesn’t matter anymore as Sandy’s effects are already being felt even in DC and Baltimore.
In addition to S-NPP, NOAA JPSS will be providing global data from the new Japanese AMSR-2 sensor to NOAA operational users later next year. AMSR-2 is the follow-on to AMSR-E which is on NASA’s AQUA satellite but failed last year. AMSR-2 will provide many capabilities including instantaneous rainfall rates as it flies over. The figure above is the 89V channel of AMSR-E, the blue area is associated with the heaviest rainfall rates from Sandy. Thank you to Mitch Goldberg from JPSS for providing me with this description! Special thanks to Fuzhong Weng and his team for providing us with this outstanding image.
If you are on the East Coast, be safe! For everyone else, I’m not sure I will be able to post anymore blogs for a while on here. I am leaving the reigns in the hands of Amanda Terborg (Satellite Liaison at the Aviation Weather Center) and Chris Siewert (Satellite Liaison at the Storm Prediction Center) to keep you all updated.
I would also like to give a shout-out to the forecasters at HPC, OPC and NHC along with the satellite analysts at SAB for doing a spectacular job during this historic event. I hope everyone that reads this understands the amount of pressure that is on a forecaster when trying to relay information to the public about the severity of what we are seeing and will see tonight. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!