Well, we are winding down the GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) for 2014 and we have seen three interesting tropical cyclone cases (Lowell, Marie, Cristobal), each unique in their own way. Hurricane Cristobal has more or less maintained intensity over the last two days and the lightning bursts have been very interesting to observe using the 2-min imagery overlaid on the SRSOR imagery. Today’s lightning activity, similar to yesterday, featured intermittent activity in the large band to the east and southeast of the hurricane. Meanwhile, additional thunderstorms developed near a pseudo-warm front feature to the northeast of the storm. I have included the OPC West Atlantic Surface Analysis for reference:
OPC West Atlantic Surface Analysis valid at 18z on 08/27/14.
Another interesting feature is the lightning bursting near the center of Cristobal, especially at the very end of the animation. A strong overshooting top is observed in the visible imagery and there is a quick uptick in concentrated lightning activity associated with that cell. A possible supercell? I think it’s possible and a sign that Cristobal is still entraining some dry air into the core. What other features can you identify?
GOES-14 SRSOR visible imagery with Vaisala GLD-360 2-min lightning density overlaid in 2-min increments. Animation is courtesy of James Kells (OPC). Click on the animation to expand in a separate window.
It’s a shame that we will not have additional SRSOR data this year, but Mother Nature has put on quite the show and it’s incredible how we can utilize our technology in new, inventive ways to assist forecasters.
As a reminder, GOES-R will launch in early 2016 and will contain a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) which will help in observing intracloud lightning as well as cloud-to-ground lightning.
For more information on the GOES-14 SRSOR, please visit: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/srsor2014/GOES-14_SRSOR.html
Another day of GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R. . .another hurricane. Now, I know. . .Hurricane Cristobal is not a very photogenic hurricane, but during the course of the day, the storm has shown signs of better organization. One very noticeable feature has been the increase of lightning in the large, elongated band in the eastern quadrant. Over the last couple of hours, there has been a marked increase in lightning near the center of Cristobal. Could this be dry air intrusion? A sign of intensification? I’ll let you be the judge. The lightning data here is from the Vaisala GLD-360 lightning strikes, but is displayed as a 2-minute density product which was developed collaboratively among the Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), and the Cooperative Institute of Climate and Satellites (CICS) at the University of Maryland. The 2-min lightning density is time matched with the SRSOR in 2-min increments for a smooth (ish) animation.
GOES-14 SRSOR (feeds courtesy of CIRA and CIMSS) with Vaisala GLD-360 2-min lightning density overlaid. Thanks to James Kells (OPC) for creating the animation. Click on image to expand in another window.
While I have your attention, thanks to some quick work by Christopher Juckins and Frances Achorn of OPC, we now have a public, real-time version of the 30-min lightning density product overlaid on GOES-13 infrared imagery. Feel free to bookmark these pages for future use:
Much of the GOES-14 super rapid scan operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) has been spectacular, but maybe I’m biased. . .this morning’s sunrise of Hurricane Marie was spectacular! I overlaid the GLD-360 lightning feed on top of the 1-minute imagery (1 to 1) and noticed some interesting observations. For one, it was evident that the eye was slowly clouding over which was unfortunate. Also. . .all of the lightning activity (what little existed) was well to the northeast, closer to land. My question here. . .does this mean there was no lightning in Marie, such as intracloud? This is where the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will be a very useful tool in the future. It is important to note that Marie was in a rather steady-state this morning, with a possible eyewall replacement cycle on the way. . .so this may account for no lightning strikes in the eyewall.
GOES-14 SRSOR with Vaisala GLD-360 lightning strikes overlaid. Special thanks to James Kells (OPC) for helping with this animation. (Click on animation to expand in another window)
GOES-14 has come out of storage and will be providing Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) 1-min data for the next 2 weeks. Forecasters at SPC have found operational value in this imagery in the past (see previous blog posts), and are once again taking advantage of its availability. Feedback from SPC forecasters is been helpful in assessing the operational utility of 1-min satellite imagery, a capability of the GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that will be routinely available. For more information, including links to the real-time 1-min imagery and past examples, please visit: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/srsor2014/GOES-14_SRSOR.html.
– Bill Line, SPC/HWT Satellite Liaison
Fig 1: August 14, 2014 1439 to 1511 UTC GOES-14 SRSOR 1-min visible imagery.