On March 28, a strong upper-level shortwave trough moved through the southern Plains. A surface cold front associated with this system extended south into Mexico, and began its acceleration east and south during the early evening hours. The strong surface flow behind the front lofted a good amount of dust into the lower atmosphere. The two GOES-16 visible bands, 0.47 and 0.64 um, detected the progression of this dust clearly (see first figure below). The dust in this particular situation is more easily detected in the late evening because low sun angles allow for more energy to be forward scattered into the satellite sensor located east of the feature (See second figure below) . Being at a smaller wavelength, the 0.47 um is more sensitive to aerosols in the atmosphere (such as dust, smoke, haze), which is why it generally has a slightly lighter appearance. However, the dust in this seen does not appear to be much more reflective at 0.47 um than at 0.64 um, perhaps because the dust layer is so thick, and close to the surface. It is also important to not that the 0.64 um (0.5 km) band has 4x the spatial resolution compared to 0.47 um band (1 km).
Also apparent is wildfire smoke in the southwest part of the seen. The smoke is easily observed in the 0.47 um visible band, but not as apparent in the less-sensitive-to-aerosols 0.64 um band.
-Bill Line, NWS
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