A quick moving shortwave and ample moisture resulted in widespread severe thunderstorms across the high plains on 7 June 2022. The shortwave trough is obvious in GOES-East water vapor imagery digging across the Rockies during the morning, and east into the plains after convective initiation during the afternoon/evening (Fig 1).
Thunderstorms developing across the southern Colorado I-25 corridor produced large hail, and at times, accumulating hail. The accumulating hail could be diagnosed in satellite imagery, which could be useful for confirming that a storm is producing hail and for identifying potential impacts to travel on roadways. Starting with GOES-East VIS, a keen eye could identify the streak of higher reflectance in the wake of the impressive thunderstorm exiting eastern El Paso County, which had confirmed large hail reports. Also with this storm, classic severe storm signatures could be diagnosed, including inflow feeder bands/clouds, and a long-lived above-anvil cirrus plume.
We know we can do better than single-band imagery, though. Combining the VIS with IRW and Snow/Ice band, we can better isolated the hail swaths in the Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB, as Green against the otherwise dark blue clear sky scene, and lighter blues/reds/yellows of clouds.
GOES-18 ABI began collecting imagery again from the “near” GOES-West position of 136.8W lduring teh previous evening (Transition Plan). A 1-min meso sector was positioned over the region, and provided a better view of the hail swaths on the back edge of the east-moving storms. Specifically, the GOES-18 imagery captured a hail swath with a Pueblo County storm (Fig 4), which was masked by the storm in GOES-East imagery (Fig 5). This is yet another example of the value of leveraging both GOES-East and -West imagery where available.
JPSS VIIRS imagery provides yet another perspective of the hail swaths. The 375 m resolution and ~direct view from above allows hail swaths to be detected where the task may be more difficult using GOES. In this case, the VIIRS Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB captured the hail swath from Fig 2-3 slightly earlier than was obvious in GOES imagery.
Storms across the region continued to produce large hail into the evening, which can be diagnosed in Nighttime Microphysics RGB imagery. The swaths, compared to the surrounding clear sky background, contain less blue (cooler), and more red (+ vs – 12-10um SWD), resulting in a color near Magenta. In Fig 7, the animation transitions from VIS during the day to NightMicro RGB at night.
Further north in Nebraska, numerous storms also produced narrow hail swaths, and were captured to varying degrees in both GOES-16 (Fig 8) and GOES-18 (Fig 9) Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB imagery.
Bill Line, NESDIS/STAR