Even though the JMA Himawari-8 AHI instrument provides more frequent Water Vapor and Infrared Window images (every 10 minutes, compared to every 15-30 minutes with GOES-15) at a higher spatial resolution (2-km at satellite sub-point, vs 4-km with GOES-15), Hawai’i is located near the limb of the Himawari-8 view — so parallax was playing a major role in the apparent location of the important convective features. Note how the primary thunderstorms were displayed to the east of Kauai on the Himawari-8 images, in contrast to directly over the island on GOES-15 images.The MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (below) showed that high amounts of tropical moisture were drawn northward across Hawai’i by the circulation of an upper-level trough that was situated west of the islands.
Solar radiation at 0.86 µm is strongly absorbed by water on the surface, but reflected by land. There is therefore a big contrast in GOES-16 “Veggie” Band imagery between rivers and adjacent land, and that contrast difference can easily identify regions of inundation. The toggle above compares imagery from 26 February 2018 and from 12 February 2018 over the lower Ohio River Valley. Significant widening of many waterways is apparent in the 0.86 µm imagery on 26 February, especially over southern Indiana, a result of both snow melt and abundant precipitation in the past 7 days, shown below (from this link). This has caused many stream gauges to show Moderate (Red gauges) to Major (Purple Gauges) flooding (image from this link), also shown below. A zoomed-in image over northern Indiana, at bottom, shows the major flooding along the Kankakee River.
=============== Added, 27 February 2018 ===================
Some of these areas of river flooding could also be seen in a comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color and False-color Red-Green-Blue RGB images (below) — the False-color image uses the Near-Infrared 2.2 µm and 0.86 µm bands for the Red and Green contributions, and highlights water as shades of blue.
GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) showed some of the features which helped produce heavier rainfall and snowfall during the daylight hours on 09 January.The circulation of the upper-level low was easily seen on GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (below).
===== 10 January Update =====On the following day, a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color and False-color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from RealEarth (above) showed (1) the large burn scar from the Thomas Fire (shades of reddish-brown), and (2) snow cover in the higher terrain (darker shades of cyan) on the False-color image. The True-color image revealed sediment from runoff flowing into the nearshore waters from Santa Barbara to Oxnard (shades of brown to light green).
A closer look at the Thomas Fire burn scar was provided by 30-meter resolution Landsat-8 False-color RGB imagery (below), which showed thin filaments of muddy sediment just offshore, as well as fresh snow cover (shades of cyan) along or immediately adjacent to the northeastern edge of the burn scar (in the Hines Peak area). On 10 January, the fire was listed as 92% contained (100% containment was declared on 12 January).
===== 11 January Update =====A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS True-color RGB images on 10 January and 11 January (above) showed that sediment was flowing farther offshore from the Thomas Fire burn scar area.
Farther to the south, offshore sediment transport was also seen in the San Diego area (below).
Aided in part by precipitation associated with Hurricane Irma, some areas of Florida have received record rainfall during the June-October 2017 period:
Tuesday’s 2.22″ of rainfall at Melbourne pushed the total since September 1st over 3″ ahead of the previous record wettest September-October pic.twitter.com/dMdI43OkdI
— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) October 25, 2017
— Eric Blake ? (@EricBlake12) October 26, 2017
* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *A comparison of GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images (above) showed that water was a strong absorber of radiation at 0.86 µm and 1.61 µm wavelengths — therefore wet ground, rivers, lakes and the oceans appeared dark in those images. This makes those two GOES-16 ABI spectral bands useful for identifying areas of flooding.
Two areas in Florida are noteworthy on the images: the St. Johns River in the northeast part of the state (where Moderate Flooding had been occurring), and parts of South Florida (which had just received an additional 1-5 inches of rain on the previous day).
A closer look at those 2 areas using Terra MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Near-Infrared “:Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm) images are shown below.
In stark contrast to the periods of heavy rain, a strong cold front brought clear skies and very dry air over Florida, as seen in MIMIC Total Precipitble Water product (below).
This dry air evoked enthusiasm in least one South Florida resident:
— Eric Blake ? (@EricBlake12) October 26, 2017
MODIS Today imagery from 23 August (pre-Harvey) (cropped) and 30 August (post-Harvey) (cropped), above, show an enormous increase in turbidity in the nearshore waters off the coast of Texas. Further, many of the rivers change their appearance to brown and flooding in the post-Harvey image. (River gauges in flood stage; Source)
A similar toggle using Suomi NPP VIIRS Imagery, from this site, also from 23 August and 30 August, is shown below. The increase in turbidity was due to a combination of strong winds and runoff from very heavy rainfall associated with the hurricane.
Suomi NPP VIIRS Products include a River Flood estimate, developed by Sanmei Li and others at George Mason University. The toggle below from RealEarth shows Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color at 1904 UTC, and the River Flood Product for the same time.
(Thanks to Bill Taylor and John Stoppkotte, NWS in N. Platte NE, for noting this!)
* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing *
During the week of 19 July – 26 July 2017, the Upper Midwest was affected by a number of strong to severe Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) events, as shown in an animation of GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above).
At the beginning of that time period, a derecho moved across the region on 19 July producing widespread damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes (blog post).
Following the derecho, a separate outbreak of thunderstorms exhibited well-defined “enhanced-V” storm top signatures in western Wisconsin (below).Another MCS produced tornadoes and damaging winds across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois on 21 July (SPC storm reports) — at one point a storm in northern Illinois exhibited a seldom-seen “warm trench” surrounding an overshooting top (below). Early in the day on 23 July, “transverse banding” — a signature indicating the likelihood of high-altitude turbulence — was seen around the northern periphery of an MCS that was centered in southern Illinois (below). A pattern of mesoscale banding was displayed by thunderstorms that produced localized 1-2″ amounts of rainfall across southern Wisconsin on 26 July (below). Also noteworthy was the swath of very heavy rainfall during this 1-week period across eastern Iowa, far southwestern Wisconsin and northern Illinois (below), which was responsible for flash flooding in those areas.
GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing
Very heavy rain (4-5″) fell over parts of southwestern Wisconsin early on 10 July 2017 as a Mesoscale Convective System traversed the Upper Midwest (0831 UTC VIIRS Infrared vs Day/Night Band). The animation above blends the Clean Window (10.3 µm) from GOES-16 with the Total Precipitable Water Baseline Product (This product is available online — with a time delay — here). Note that the largest values of Precipitable Water are diagnosed to be over southern and western of Wisconsin. Looking at the animation of the 10.3 µm imagery, can you decide where the heaviest rain fell?
A screen capture from this website, below, shows 24-hour precipitation over the Upper Midwest, with a northwest-to-southeast oriented maximum near the northwest-to-southeast gradient of diagnosed total precipitable water field shown in the animation above. (This summary from the National Weather Service in Milwaukee shows accumulated precipitation ending at 0900 Central Time).
The Hazardous Weather Testbed at the Storm Prediction Center evaluates GOES-16 (and other satellites, such as Suomi NPP) products. There have been many instances that noted convection was most intense along the gradient of the moisture (See this summary, for example, or this one.) When GOES-16 Baseline Products indicate a gradient, pay close attention when strong convection develops upstream.
Added: One day later, again, convection initiated (and/or persisted) north of the diagnosed Total Precipitable Water maximum over Illinois and Iowa (link), i.e., in the gradient of Total Precipitable Water.
— NWS Gray (@NWSGray) July 2, 2017
* GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing *
As noted in the Tweet above from NWS Gray/Portland ME, a record number of tornado warnings were issued by that office on 01 July 2017. According to their damage surveys, the tornadoes were rated EF-0 to EF-1, with some straight-line wind damage also seen. GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images with plots of SPC storm reports (below; also available as a 98-Mbyte animated GIF) displayed the overshooting tops and colder cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures associated with some of the thunderstorms. Note the significant offset between cloud-top features and storm reports — this is due to parallax from the large viewing angle of the GOES-16 satellite (which is positioned over the Equator at 105º West longitude).A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1744 UTC (below) showed the early stages of convective development in far southwestern Maine, in addition to well-developed thunderstorms in eastern New York (which would later move northeastward to produce a swath of heavy rainfall that caused flooding at some locations). Thunderstorm development was fueled by high amounts of moisture that had moved into the Northeast US, as shown below by the Blended Total Precipitable Water product (values in the 40-50 mm or 1.6-2.0 inch range) and the Blended Total Precipitable Water Percent of Normal product (with values in excess of 200%). The hourly evolution of moisture was depicted by the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product (below).
As Tropical Storm Bret was forming off the coast of South America, Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 (PTC3) was becoming more organized as it moved from the western Caribbean Sea across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and into the Gulf of Mexico on 19 June 2017 (MIMIC TPW). On 20 June, one of the GOES-16 Mesoscale Sectors was positioned over PTC3 and provided 1-minute imagery — Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed deep convective bursts moving northward to reveal an exposed Low Level Circulation Center (LLCC).Early in the day on 21 June, 1-minute GOES-16 Visible and Infrared Window images (above) showed multiple LLCC features associated with PTC3, with deep convection remaining well to the north/northwest. In addition, Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (below) indicated that a large amount of dry air had wrapped into the southern and eastern portions of the storm circulation. However, by mid-day a more consolidated central circulation had developed, as seen on Suomi NPP VIIRS Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (below) — and PTC3 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Cindy. Hourly images of the MIMIC Total Precipitable Water product covering the 19-24 June period (below) showed the northward transport of rich tropical moisture into the Gulf Coast states, which then moved northeastward toward the Northeast US bringing heavy rainfall and flooding to many locations (WPC storm summary). Maps of daily rainfall during the 21-24 June period (along with 7-day rainfall totals, departure from normal and percent of normal) are shown below.
A comparison of GOES-16 Visible (0.47 µm and 0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared (0.86 µm and 1.61 µm) images at 1507 UTC (below) shows that the Vegetation and Snow/Ice spectral bands are useful for identifying areas of swollen rivers and adjacent flooded lands (since water appears darker on those 2 images).