Three GOES-16 channels can be used to decipher today’s winter scene over the upper midwest. With snow on the ground and multiple cloud layers, it can sometimes be difficult to discern what is snow, low cloud, and high cloud in the 0.64 um visible channel (left). By bringing in the 1.61 um near-IR channel (right), we can clearly see what are low clouds (bright white/high reflectance), what is snow/ice (dark/low reflectance), and what is bare ground (moderate reflectance). A wide swath of snow cover is apparent from NW Iowa into N Wisconsin. It is clear where the low clouds and snow cover meet. Frozen lakes in N Minnesota, as well as widespread snow cover across N Minnesota, N Wisconsin, and the UP are also apparent. Upper level clouds (ice) also appear darker in the 1.61 um band. To further differentiate the high/ice clouds from the scene below, we view the 1.38 um band (middle). Since this band is sensitive to water vapor absorption, high clouds will appear bright compared to the dark, non-reflective background.
Bill Line, NWS/PUB
“The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing. Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.”