GOES-West Operational Interleave ended today, Sep 8, at 1601 UTC (began on 8/1). This means that GOES-West Imagery in AWIPS switched from GOES-18 back to GOES-17. All other GOES-West products remain from GOES-17 as they have been. NWS AWIPS users will likely not notice any difference, as we have come out of the GOES-17 ABI Warm Period, which resulted in degraded GOES-17 LWIR imagery due to the Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) cooling system issue. GOES-18 post launch checkout will continue, and the next Interleave period will take place during the next warm period, in the 10/13 – 11/16 period. GOES-18 is expected to become the operational GOES-West Satellite in early January 2023.
See ch08 water vapor imagery in Fig 1 for an AWIPS example of the transition from G18 to G17 imagery. One may notice that ,in this band, the imagery becomes slightly less “crisp” after the transition back to G17 due to the now minimal impacts of the G17 ABI LHP issue as we come out of the warm period.
Coming out of Interleave, the GOES-West satellites captured significant growth of the Mosquito Fire located in California between Sacramento and Reno. A 6-hour-long blended GOES-17 1-min Geocolor+SWIR+NIR Imagery product revealed the development of a large and hot heat signature, in addition to an impressive smoke plume with persistent pyrocumulus clouds (Figure 2).
Bill Line, NESDIS/STAR