One of the fascinating aspects of GOES-16 is how much better the resolution is at higher latitudes, near the limb or edge of the footprint. Forecasters at the Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) noted how much easier it is to see the ice sheet (when clouds allow) and even the breaking up of this ice into groups of icebergs!
GOES-16 0.86 um “Veggie” channel depicting sea ice near eastern Canada (New Foundland is in the center of the image). *Preliminary, Non-Operational Data* Click to enlarge.
The 0.86 µm near-infrared “Veggie” channel animation above shows the ice swirling or drifting near Labrador and New Foundland. The 1-km resolution imagery is more resolved around 2 km at this latitude due to the, yet you can see amazing detail in the ice breaking up and moving around. Note: The imagery jump is due to GOES-16 ongoing testing during the beta period.
Aqua MODIS 0.86 um “Veggie” image of the ice “swirls” off the Labrador coast valid on 04/24/17. Click to enlarge
The Aqua MODIS image above shows a more nadir view of the ice swirls east of Labrador on 04/24/17. This image is higher resolution (1 km) than the GOES-16 animation above and provides great details that were not previously available to OPC forecasters.
The Iceberg Analysis from 04/24/17, shows the extent and number of icebergs that are being tracked this spring. According to this CBC News article, “about 450 icebergs near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, up from 37 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol in New London, Connecticut. Those kinds of numbers are usually not seen until late May or early June. The average for this time of year is about 80.” More than 600 icebergs have been spotted in shipping lanes that made the Titanic unfortunately, famous. A couple photos are included below.
Hurricane Matthew. . .a storm that will be remembered for the challenges, strange structures, maneuvering path, weird (sinister) face images in satellite imagery, and unusually low (observed) pressures regardless of satellite appearance.
The 10/06/16 5 pm EDT NHC forecast track for Hurricane Matthew.
GOES-13 (east) 10.7 um infrared animation showing Hurricane Matthew’s trek through the middle Bahamas on 10/06/16.
As you can see in the GOES-13 infrared animation above, the structure of Matthew has gone through a few changes today with some northerly shear blunting the northern portion of the hurricane, although this hasn’t lead to any notable weakening as of yet. In the last couple of frames, very strong convection fires again as the hurricane is approaching Grand Bahama. Also of note is the strong area of convection that fired to the northeast of Matthew today, though not as strong as what was seen in the Caribbean over the weekend.
GOES-13 10.7 um infrared imagery with Vaisala GLD-360 lightning density overlaid at 15 minute intervals.
The GOES-13 infrared imagery with GLD-360 15-minute lightning density overlaid shows a couple distinct areas of lightning activity, the aforementioned convection to the northeast and another area in the northeast eyewall. This latter area has been pulsing all day and may suggest that the shear mentioned earlier was being fought off by the deep pulses of convection. Note that this area passed over the western portion of Providence Island and is getting ready to move ashore in southwest Grand Bahama. This is where the aircraft is showing the strongest winds (near 120 kts or 140 mph).
NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Profiles (NUCAPS) pass overlaid on GOES-13 10.7 um infrared imagery in AWIPS II. The black circle represents the sounding location provided below.
NUCAPS sounding (black circle on above image) showing some drying and warming above 700 mb to the north of Hurricane Matthew. Note that this isn’t a clean sounding since there are clouds in the scene, but the multiple warm layers are certainly interesting.
So, where did this shear originate from? I haven’t quite found the source, but I did pull up a NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Profiles (NUCAPS) sounding that may not be the most representative of the northern portion of the cyclone due to clouds, but does show an interesting drying at mid-levels. Note there are no winds as this is a satellite-borne sounding looking down, not to be confused with a raob.
GOES-13 10.7 um infrared imagery with the GOES-R Rain Rate/QPE product overlaid showing nearly instantaneous, 15 minute rain rates during Hurricane Matthew’s path over western Haiti and eastern Cuba.
Another product that has been available to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, Weather Prediction Center, and NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch is the GOES-R Rain Rate/QPE product provided by Bob Kuligowski at NESDIS. These are 15 minute rain rates that are derived using infrared brightness temperatures, then calibrated with microwave imagery. Note the values near the eyewall approaching 1″-1.50″ per 15 minutes!!!
GOES-R Rain Rate/QPE product showing the 7-day accumulated precipitation along Hurricane Matthew’s path.
The 7-day QPE accumulation image above shows many values over western Haiti and eastern Cuba approaching and exceeding 20″, which might even be conservative in the higher terrain areas. Note other interesting features like the rain shadow in northern Dominican Republic and amounts that exceed (then re-accumulate) 20″-45″ near where Matthew slowed north of Columbia. The now infamous “convective blob” is where the largest totals are located and might be reasonable for this case considering the extreme lightning and intensely cold cloud tops.
GOES-13 10.7 um infrared imagery with Vaisala GLD-360 lightning density overlaid during Hurricane Matthew’s rapid intensification cycle from 09/30/16 – 10/02/16.
This final animation shows the very intense lightning activity associated with the inner core organization and infamous “convective blob” that was trailing Hurricane Matthew through the southern Caribbean. The persistent lightning in the northern eyewall is interesting in that it’s rather atypical for rapid intensification in Atlantic hurricanes. Meanwhile, the lightning associated with the blob is very intense at 15 minute increments and helps support those extreme rain amounts that fell over the Caribbean.
Thank you for reading and feel free to comment/ask questions!
So, we have all probably noticed that it has been cold lately. Well, due to the ample snow cover over much of the U.S. at this time, the baroclinic zone is sharpening over the lower Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys this afternoon with the aid of shortwave energy coming out of a cutoff low located over the Southwest U.S. One of the Ocean Prediction Center forecasters, Tim Collins, noted the strong contrast in temperature on either side of this zone in the RGB Air Mass image from MODIS below.
MODIS RGB Air Mass image of the strong baroclinic zone valid on 03/04/15.
Note the orange and purplish coloring to the north (above) of the moisture plume (cirrus, etc). This delineates the colder, drier air advancing south and east, while to the south (below) of the clouds there is a greenish coloring that denotes warmer mid-tropospheric air associated with a ridge of high pressure aloft over the Gulf of Mexico and Southwest Atlantic.
MODIS Water Vapor image to compliment the RGB Air Mass image valid on 03/04/15.
For contrast, the above image is the ~6.7 um water vapor channel from MODIS. Notice that north of the moisture plume you can see evidence of the lower tropopause and cold air by the relative smoothing noted in the image (lighter blue coloring due to the enhancement). To the south of the moisture plume, you can see the dry air at ~400-500 mb associated with the ridge over the Gulf of Mexico.
This baroclinic zone will continue to sharpen overnight and produce a significant snowstorm for many in the central and eastern US into tomorrow.