Well, we are winding down the GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) for 2014 and we have seen three interesting tropical cyclone cases (Lowell, Marie, Cristobal), each unique in their own way. Hurricane Cristobal has more or less maintained intensity over the last two days and the lightning bursts have been very interesting to observe using the 2-min imagery overlaid on the SRSOR imagery. Today’s lightning activity, similar to yesterday, featured intermittent activity in the large band to the east and southeast of the hurricane. Meanwhile, additional thunderstorms developed near a pseudo-warm front feature to the northeast of the storm. I have included the OPC West Atlantic Surface Analysis for reference:
Another interesting feature is the lightning bursting near the center of Cristobal, especially at the very end of the animation. A strong overshooting top is observed in the visible imagery and there is a quick uptick in concentrated lightning activity associated with that cell. A possible supercell? I think it’s possible and a sign that Cristobal is still entraining some dry air into the core. What other features can you identify?
It’s a shame that we will not have additional SRSOR data this year, but Mother Nature has put on quite the show and it’s incredible how we can utilize our technology in new, inventive ways to assist forecasters.
As a reminder, GOES-R will launch in early 2016 and will contain a Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) which will help in observing intracloud lightning as well as cloud-to-ground lightning.
For more information on the GOES-14 SRSOR, please visit: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/srsor2014/GOES-14_SRSOR.html
Thanks for reading!