An abundance of strong thunderstorms developed across portions of the US High Plains on 18 May 2018, producing severe criteria hail, winds, and a few tornados. 1-min satellite imagery from GOES-16 was available over the region for this event per a request by the Storm Prediction Center. Notable during this event was the abundance of satellite cloud top signatures apparent with the storms during the early evening. The VIS+IR Sandwich image combo highlights these features quite well. This image combo is created using the 0.64 um VIS as an underlay, and 10.3 um IR as an overlay. The 0.5 km VIS captures the detail in the imagery, while the IR captures the quantitative brightness temperature information. The IR overlay is fully transparent below a certain threshold to allow for detailed analysis of cumulus clouds pre-CI using the VIS alone. The coldest brightness temperatures, which are associated with the cloud tops, are made semi-transparent (40%). Cloud top features apparent in this animation are overshooting tops (cooler temperature, increased texture, shadow), above anvil cirrus plumes (warm anomoly downstream of overshooting top, relatively smooth), and gravity waves (ripples) emanating from the updrafts. The rapid anvil expansion with these storms is also indicative of strong updrafts. The persistence of these features indicates long-lived strong updrafts.
Bill Line, NWS