The UW-CIMSS Cloud Top Cooling (CTC) product was once again utilized at the SPC mesoscale desk on 9/18/14 during a marginal severe weather event over parts of Nevada and Idaho. The CTC product not only highlights where initial rapid convective development is occurring, but it also quantifies the vigor of said growth. See past blog posts (eg. http://satelliteliaisonblog.com/2014/04/02/cloud-top-cooling-product-with-kansas-severe-weather/) for background information on the CTC product and its use in SPC operations.
With relatively weak instability in place, there was some uncertainty as to whether significant convection would develop in the region despite favorable shear and forcing associated with an approaching shortwave. The CTC product first indicated rapid initial convective growth in excess of -16 K/15 min at 1745 UTC in northeast Nevada (Fig. 1). By 1845, notable cooling rates were being measured along an area of confluence north into southeast Idaho. The first warning was issued in Nevada at 1911 UTC, with storms being warned on in Idaho shortly thereafter. The CTC product provided increased confidence that the environment would indeed support strong updrafts, and potentially severe weather. The forecaster referenced the CTC product in a related SPC Mesoscale Discussion: “THE GOES-R CLOUD TOP COOLING PRODUCT VERIFIES THIS TREND PER SEVERAL STORMS FROM NERN NV TO ERN ID HAVING STRONGER/SUSTAINED UPDRAFTS (Fig. 2).”
Bill Line, SPC/HWT Satellite Liaison