During the overnight hours of 03/14/17, a small thunderstorm produced damaging winds in the Nassau, Bahamas area (New Providence Island). Trees were toppled on the southwest side of the island and a plane was damaged at the airport. GOES-16 data is not yet available to meteorologists at the Bahamas Meteorology Department, but they reached out to the International Desk at the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, MD, to see if the new satellite shed any light on what exactly happened.
The GOES-East (13) 10.7 𝞵m infrared imagery above was running in Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) during this event and the thunderstorm in question (along with New Providence Island) is highlighted in the yellow circle. This is the same imagery that has been used for years at 4 km spatial resolution and 5-15 minute temporal resolution depending on scanning strategy. Due to the choppy nature of the RSO and degraded spatial resolution, the details were a bit more challenging for forecasters at this time.
The Channel 13 (10.3 𝞵m) imagery from GOES-16 shows more detail due to the increased 2 km spatial resolution and 5 minute temporal resolution. The thunderstorm can be seen (outlined by the yellow circle) pulsing as it leaves Andros Island and moves across New Providence Island. This pulsing nature may explain the strong winds observed due to a possible microburst.
Channel 7 (3.9 𝞵m) shortwave infrared imagery from GOES-16 shows a bit more detail in the lower levels, especially related to low clouds. Again, the imagery is 2 km spatial resolution and 5 minutes temporally.
“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.”
Thanks for reading!
Michael Folmer & Michel Davison