An early season winter storm brought accumulating snowfall to southern Colorado on 7 November 2017. While the mountains experienced the greatest snow accumulations, parts of the plains near and west of I-25 measured over an inch, with mainly less than an inch falling east of the I-25 corridor. GOES-16 data provided some helpful insights into this system.
Water vapor imagery captured the impressive shortwave trough as it approached and moved over southern Colorado. The shortwave can easily be identified as the dry/warm slot in the flow (with clouds developing to its northeast). Additionally, the core of the upper-level jet is identified in water vapor imagery as a sharp south-north transition to warmer temperatures (dryer atmosphere) over the southern part of the state.
GOES-16 Derived Motion Winds also highlighted the exceptionally strong jet over the region, with some winds measuring to 150 knots around 300 mb. Aircrafts reported moderate turbulence in the area at that level.
Finally, the GOES-16 nighttime microphysics RGB highlighted the bands of snow versus liquid clouds. Since the snow bands have ice, the green component (fog difference) will be less. Additionally, these clouds are slightly colder, leading to less of a blue component. Therefore, the clouds containing snow will have more of a red/orange tint compared to the liquid low clouds which appear ~light green. The upper-level cirrus clouds speeding by in the southern part of the scene appear deeper red to black.
-Bill Line, NWS
“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.”