The GOES-17 ABI will be operating in Mode 6 as a test starting today, Nov 27 at 1400 UTC through 1700 UTC on Nov 30. Recall in Mode 3, the current default operating mode for GOES-16 and GOES-17 ABI, we get a Full Disk sector every 15-min, a CONUS/PACUS sector every 5-min, and two mesoscale sectors every 1 minute each. In Mode 6, the ABI scans a full disk sector every 10-min, a CONUS/PACUS sector every 5-min, and two mesoscale sectors every 1-minute each. As you can see, the only difference between the two modes is that Mode 6 provides a full disk image more often (six per hour) than mode 3 (four per hour). See table 1 for a comparison between the two scan modes. Also shown is Mode 4, which is also currently an option on the ABI’s.
How Often Sectors Are Scanned in Each ABI Mode
30-sec or 2@1-min
30-sec or 2@1-min
Figure 1 is a 60 minute snapshot of all four sectors (Full Disk, PACUS, Meso-1, Meso-2) from the GOES-17 ABI in Mode 6 on Nov 27. As a comparison, Figure 2 provides the same snapshop for GOES-16 ABI operating in Mode 3.
Figures 3 and 4 compare full disk scanning for GOES-17 in Mode 6 and GOES-16 in Mode 3 for a three hour period. During this period, the full disk is scanned by GOES-17 18 times, and by GOES-16 12 times.
Bill Line, NWS
GOES-17 data are preliminary and non-operational at the time of this post.
A Winter Storm delivered snow across a large swath of the US during Thanksgiving weekend. Clearing behind the system revealed the fresh snowfall. As has been discussed in previous blog posts, the increased spectral resolution of the ABI compared to previous GOES Imagers makes it easier to identify/differentiate surface and atmospheric features. By combining multiple channels into channel differences and RGB’s, it makes the job of the forecaster even easier to analyze these complicated scenes.
The scene across the central US behind the system included bare ground, lakes, fresh snow, water clouds and ice clouds. The latter three features are all highly reflective and difficult to differentiate in visible imagery (Fig 1).
Figure 1: 26 November 2018 GOES-16 0.64 um VIS. Full res
By combining the visible channel with the 1.61 um snow/ice near IR channel and the 10.3 um IR window channel, we have one image that contrasts those features while maintaining the 0.5 km high resolution of the VIS (Fig 2). This combination is known as the Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB. In this example, the max bounds of the green and blue components were lowered to 50 and 40, respectively, while the min red component was decreased to 0. These changes were made in order to best highlight the features I was interested in for this situation (snow vs low clouds vs high clouds in a cold airmass). Bare ground is blue, water bodies are very dark blue to black, snow is green, water clouds are light blue/green, ice clouds are red.
26 November 2018 GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB. Full res
With GOES-17 now at the 137.2W GOES-West position (not yet operational, though), Alaska has significantly improved satellite coverage. Imagery from GOES-17 is available every 15-min over Alaska from the full disk sector, and every 1-min (or 30 seconds) in a mesoscale sector upon request (previous generation GOES provided 15-min coverage over Alaska with a 30-min gap every 3 hours). However, spatial resolution is degraded so far from the satellite subpoint over Alaska. A 1 km pixel will have an approximate pixel area of around 4 km over southern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, degrading to 8+ km over northern Alaska. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show 15-min full disk VIS, IR and WV imagery during the day on 19 Nov. An occluded low pressure system is diagnosed along the southern Alaska coast.
Figure 1: 19 Nov 2018 GOES-17 0.64 um VIS. Full res
Figure 2: 19 Nov 2018 GOES-17 10.3 um IRW. Full res
Since GOES-17 arrived at GOES-West and dataflow resumed, NWS offices in Alaska have taken advantage of the 1-minute mesoscale sectors. On the evening of 16 Nov, WFO Juneau requested and was granted a sector through the next evening for “Winter Storm Warning in area with no RADAR coverage.” During the morning of 17 Nov, WFO Anchorage requested a sector to run through the evening for “Winter Wx Advisory, no radar coverage, models under performing.” These sectors were positioned next to each other, providing widespread 1-min imagery over Alaska. The mesoscale sector coverage from the AWIPS GOES-West perspective is shown in Figure 4. For a more direct view of Alaska, AWIPS users can take advantage of the Alaska perspective, shown in Figure 5. The meridional stretching of the sectors (and embedded pixels) is apparent in the Alaska perspective. The southern extent of the sectors are cut off in the Alaska perspective in this example. Alaska offices have requested mesoscale sectors numerous additional times since the 17th.
Figure 4: 17 Nov 2018 GOES-17 1-min meso-1 and meso-2 sector 0.64 um VIS from GOES-West perspective. Full res
Figure 5: 17 Nov 2018 GOES-17 1-min meso-1 and meso-2 sector 0.64 um VIS from Alaska perspective. Full res
Most derived products are not yet available in AWIPS from GOES-17, but all imagery channels, channel differences, and RGB’s are. The Day Cloud Phase Distinction (DCPD) RGB, which provides great contrast of snow (green) vs low clouds (light blue) vs high clouds (red), benefits from some slight modifications to the recipe. These changes are necessary due to lower reflectance and cooler temperatures over Alaska compared to over CONUS, especially this time of year. Figure 6 shows the default DCPD RGB over Alaska on 17 Nov, while figure 7 shows the same RGB and time period with some adjustments to the RGB component ranges. The max value for the vis/nir components was reduced, and the min value for the IR component was reduced. Similar tweaks can be made to other RGBs in order to make them more usable in cold airmasses.
Figure 6: 17 Nov 2018 GOES-17 1-min Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB over Alaska. Full res
Figure 6: 17 Nov 2018 GOES-17 1-min *modified for AK* Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB over Alaska. Full res
As of the writing of this post, GOES-17 imagery is preliminary and non-operational.
GOES-17 arrived to the 137.2W, GOES-West position, on Nov 13. Dataflow from GOES-17 resumed on Nov 15. The below examples exemplify the scope of ABI sector coverage from the GOES-West position.
GOES-17 full disk sector imagery (updates every 15-minutes when in mode 3, every 5-minutes when in mode 4) from 137.2W includes much of North America (with best coverage over western parts) and much of the Pacific Ocean (with best coverage over eastern parts). The sector includes coverage of Hawaii and Alaska. Below are examples of GOES-17 Full Disk VIS, IR, and WV from 137.2W.
Figure 1: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 15-min Full Disk 0.64 um VIS Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
Figure 2: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 15-min Full Disk 10.3 um IRW Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
Figure 3: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 15-min Full Disk 6.2 um WV Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
GOES-17 CONUS sector imagery (updates every 5-minutes) from 137.2W includes the western 1/3 of the US and Hawaii. Below are examples of GOES-17 CONUS VIS and IR imagery from 137.2W.
Figure 4: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 5-min CONUS 0.64 um VIS Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
Figure 5: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 10.3 um IRW 5-min CONUS Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
Like it’s predecessor, GOES-17 has two movable 1-min mesoscale sectors. These sectors can image anywhere within the full disk. Below is an example of the two GOES-17 mesoscale sectors with IR imagery from the default “GOES-West” mesoscale sectors positions.
Figure 6: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 10.3 um IRW 5-min CONUS Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
Finally, full disk imagery of all 16 GOES-17 ABI channels from the 137.2 GOES-West position.
Figure 7: 17 November 2018 GOES-17 15-min Full Disk All 16 Channel Imagery from 137.2W. Higher res
A reminder that GOES-17 is expected to become the operational “GOES-West” on Dec 10. As of the writing of this post, imagery is preliminary and non-operational.
A winter storm brought snowfall to much of southern Colorado on 11 November 2018. Behind the storm system on the 12th, a variety of low and high clouds lingered during the day after the snowfall had ended. Interrogating visible satellite imagery alone, it is difficult to differentiate the clouds from surface snow cover given both are highly reflective. The additional bands on the GOES-16 ABI compared to previous GOES imagers allows for the creation of RGB combinations that help differentiate various clouds from each other and from snow. This especially relevant to aviation forecasting when monitoring cloud cover near TAF sites.
The Day Cloud Phase Distinction has been described for this purpose in previous blog posts. The scene on the 12th was another great example of the advantages of using the Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB over visible imagery alone. In the visible imagery (Fig 1), while it is apparent that there is widespread snow cover with clouds moving overhead, it is difficult to quickly diagnose clouds vs snow. The RGB (Fig 2) makes it clear where there is bare ground (dark blue), snow (green), liquid clouds (light blue), and ice clouds (red).
Figure 1: 12 November 2018 GOES-16 0.64 um VIS over southeast Colorado. Full res
Figure 2: 12 November 2018 GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB over southeast Colorado. Full res
The Day Snow-Fog RGB can also be utilized for differentiating snow from low clouds and high clouds (Fig 3), but does not provide useful information over the Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB. Further, it does not utilize the 0.64 um 500 m band, so it lacks the detail that is inherent in the Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB, which does utilize the high resolution visible band.
Figure 3: 12 November 2018 GOES-16 Day Snow Fog RGB over southeast Colorado. Full res
Figure 4 provides a comparison of the visible channel with the two RGBs discussed along with labels for the various cloud and surface types.
Figure 4: 1732 UTC 12 November 2018 GOES-16 0.64 um VIS, Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB, and Day Snow Fog RGB over southeast Colorado. Full res
A wildfire developed in northern California during the early morning hours of 8 November 2018. The “Camp Fire”, as it was named, spread quickly within very windy and dry weather conditions. GOES-16 captured the development and rapid spread of the fire best in the CONUS sector (5-min) 3.9 um shortwave IR channel, which is especially sensitive to heat from a wildfire (Fig 1).
Figure 1: 8 November 2018 GOES-16 5-min shortwave window IR imagery over northern California. Full res
With sunrise shortly thereafter, the 5-min visible imagery from GOES-16 revealed the impressive smoke plume emanating from the fire, and quickly spreading southwest within the strong flow (Fig 2).
Figure 2: 8 November 2018 GOES-16 5-min visible imagery over northern California. Full res
Comparisons can be made between the previous generation imager on GOES-15 and the new Advanced Baseline Imager on GOES-16 (Fig 3). GOES-15 is now at 128W, which is close to the longitude of northern California, meaning the IR pixel area won’t be too much larger than the 4 km found at nadir. GOES-16, however, at 75.2W will see pixel area increased considerably over northern California, from 2 km at nadir to around 8 km. However, GOES-16 provides significantly better temporal resolution of 5-min vs 15-30 min resolution of GOES-15.
Figure 3: 8 November 2018 GOES-15 (left) and GOES-16 (right) shortwave IR imagery over northern California. Full res
Similarly for the vis comparison (Fig 4), GOES-15 pixel area will be close to the 1 km found at nadir, and GOES-16 closer to 2 km (vs 0.5 km at nadir).
A GOES-16 1-min mesoscale sector was positioned over the region starting at 1830 UTC to support wildfire monitoring efforts (Fig 5).
Figure 5: 8 November 2018 GOES-16 1-min VIS. Full res
GOES-15 (GOES-West) began drifting from 135W on 10/29 to its new location at 128W, where it arrived today, 11/7, at 1910 UTC. During the drift, GOES-15 continued to transmit data in order to support NWS operations. Figure 1 shows 3-hourly GOES-15 Full Disk sector IR imagery from 10/29 – 11/7. The slow eastward shift of the sector is apparent in the imagery.
Figure 1: 29 Oct – 7 Nov 2018 GOES-15 (GOES-West) 3-hourly full disk IR imagery. Full res
GOES-17 continues to drift toward 137.2W, where it is expected to arrive on 11/13, and resume dataflow on 11/15. It is scheduled to become operational GOES-West on Dec 10. Thereafter, GOES-15 and GOES-17 will operate in tandem for at least 6 months.