Given active convective and tropical weather in recent weeks, there have been many days with multiple GOES-16 meso sector requests from the field, re-positioning the sectors from their default locations. On 15 August, NHC requested a sector to aid in monitoring Hurricane Gert out in the Atlantic. WFO Albuquerque requested a sector due to their radar being down in a SPC marginal risk for severe.
GOES-16 VIS/IR sandwich combo of Gert provided a great view of thunderstorm activity near the center of the storm as well as gravity wave features east of the center (Fig 1). The differential motion at different vertical levels is also quiet mesmerizing to see in 1-min imagery.
Meanwhile back over the US, widespread convection developed across the high plains in the other 1-min sector (Fig 2). Features indicative of very strong updrafts were present with these storms, including overshooting tops and above anvil cirrus plumes. MRMS indicated hail over 1″ in diameter with many of these storms. The 1-min imagery allowed for real-time monitoring of these features as an assessment of updraft health (strengthening, maintaining strength, weakening), as well as quick identification of new convective initiation which was quite rapid given the large amount of instability. Significant hail of 2″ diameter (Lime size) was reported with a storm near Hugo in east-central Colorado.
Severe storm activity persisted in east-central Colorado by sunset. One particular storm that developed rapidly near Matheson, CO in Elbert county around 23z produced a reported 1.75″ size hail (golf ball). Of note with this storm observed in the GOES-16 1-min VIS was the long-lived above anvil cirrus plume, signifying a strong updraft consistently penetrating the troposphere (Fig 3).
-Bill Line, NWS
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