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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Seeing the Light – VIIRS in the Arctic

Something incredible happened in the Arctic a few days ago. Rather than type it out, I will let the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) explain it:

In case you’re wondering where Verkhoyansk is, you can look it up on Google Maps.

If that temperature is verified, it would be the hottest temperature ever recorded north of… Read more »

It has been three years since the devastating Fort McMurray Fire – the costliest natural disaster in Canada’s recorded history. The city is still rebuilding. And, I’m sure the people of Alberta don’t want to be reminded of it. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, here we go… Read more »

Rivers of Ice

Oh, Yakutsk! It has been a long time – 2012, to be exact – since we last spoke about you (on our sister blog). It was a different time back then, with me still referring to the EUMETSAT Natural Color RGB as “pseudo-true color”. (Now, most National Weather Service forecasters know it as the “Day Land… Read more »

Watch for Falling Rock

Q: When a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A: Yes.

That’s an easy question to answer. It’s not a 3000-year-old philosophical conundrum with no answer. Sound is simply a pressure wave moving through some medium (e.g. air, or the ground). A tree falling… Read more »

Optical Ghosts

It’s not everyday that one comes across something that is truly surprising. But, here’s something I recently came across that surprised me: a website on ghosts, angels and demons with useful scientific information. Of relevance here is the section on lens flare and ghosting. Although, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising. If you’re… Read more »


Take a second to think about what would happen if Florida was hit by four hurricanes in one month.

Would the news media get talking heads from both sides to argue whether or not global warming is real by yelling at each other until they have to cut to a commercial? Would Jim Cantore Read more »

A Graduate Level Course on DNB and NCC

Is there any post on this blog that doesn’t have to do with scaling the DNB or NCC?

I was going to title this post “Revisiting ‘Revisiting “Revisiting Scaling on the Solstice”‘”, but that would just be ridiculous. Besides the fact that we just passed an equinox (and are months away from a solstice), this post is more of a… Read more »

The Land of 10,000 Fires

Minnesota calls itself the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” – they even put it on their license plates. To an Alaskan, it seems funny to brag about that since Alaska has over 3,000,000 lakes. That’s like a Ford Escort bragging to a Bugatti Veyron that… Read more »

Imagine this scenario: you’re stuck on a boat in the Arctic Ocean in the middle of the night. The winds are howling, the air is frigid, and the boat you’re in is completely encased in ice. Step off the boat and your face is constantly sand-blasted by tiny ice particles. Blink at the wrong time and your eyes freeze shut…. Read more »

Imagine that you are an operational forecaster. (Some of you reading this don’t need to imagine it, because you are operational forecasters.) You’ve been bouncing off the walls from excitement because of all the great information the VIIRS Day/Night Band (DNB) provides. “This is so great! Visible imagery at night! It helps in so many ways,” you say to yourself… Read more »

Oh, How the Seasons Change!

The transition between winter and summer happens twice a year. Unless you live in the tropics. Then you don’t really have winter. If there are seasons there, they are “dry” and “wet”. But, at high latitudes, the transition from summer to winter is often abrupt and cannot be mistaken for anything else. It’s hard not to notice when 22 hours… Read more »

Revisiting Scaling on the Solstice

OK, so by this time, it’s about a month after the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. If the title bothers you, just replace “solstice” with “summer”. Then replace “on the” with “now that it’s” to make the sentence grammatically correct.

If you read the very first post on this blog (you may want to go… Read more »

Funny River Isn’t Laughing

Imagine you’re getting ready for bed. You take one last look out of your bedroom window and you see this:

Good luck sleeping!

That is the light and smoke from the Funny River Fire, which started on 20 May 2014 and rapidly grew to over 44,000 acres in under 48 hours. Rapidly expanding fires like this… Read more »

Glow-in-the-dark Water

Have you ever started looking for something, only to find something else that was more interesting than what you were originally looking for?

Back on 10 January 2014, there were widespread rumors of a significant aurora event that would be visible much further south than usual. It got a lot of people excited, even in our… Read more »

Camouflage Clouds

The natural world is full of examples of animals that have evolved camouflage. Check out this list and see how many of the animals you can find. Another example that I find particularly interesting is the Potoo bird. Some animals, like the Potoo, use camouflage to hide from predators, while others, like… Read more »

The Calving of B-31

Full disclosure: this is not the only blog I maintain. I also write about the uses of VIIRS for all kinds of events around the globe for the JPSS Imagery and Visualization Team Blog. You can find that blog by clicking on the link “VIIRS Imagery Blog” below the banner image at the top of the page.

Sometimes, events happen… Read more »

Santa Claus and the Olympic Flame

In the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Olympic Torch was sent on a grueling journey across Russia and beyond – including a trip to the North Pole and to Outer Space. (Obviously, the torch won’t be lit when it is in space. You don’t want to burn up all… Read more »

Auroras, Volcanoes and Bears, Oh My!

It’s amazing what you can see in a single image from the VIIRS Day/Night Band.

OK, so you can’t actually see any bears with VIIRS (even bears that have fattened up for the winter are less than 375 m across – and certainly less than the 742 m resolution of the Day/Night Band), but you can see auroras and volcanoes…. Read more »

If you found this webpage, you are either A) a spam-bot searching for new websites to inundate with spam messages, B) interested in learning about VIIRS and it’s revolutionary Day/Night Band or C) very upset at Google right now for steering you to the wrong place. This website is for those of you in group B, but hopefully a few… Read more »

Reccent Comments

Louis Moreau
How is the DNB used in operational NWP? How useful it is? Has its impact on prediction accuracy been quantified? How is the DNB used for climate studies? Why was it not implemented in the GEO imagers? Thanks
Very interesting post! Do you suggest any method (or tool) to remove Lunar Radiance from DNB images? Where can I ask for support concerning lunar radiance removal?
The NCC algorithm is described in a paper by Liang et al. published in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, VOL. 52, NO. 11, NOVEMBER 2014, pp. 6964-6971.
Stephan Zinke
Is the NCC algorithm / method published somewhere? I'd like to re-create it on our own monitoring SW, if possible, avoiding the EDR.
"Erf-dynamic scaling" is something I just came up with, independent of the CSPP group. We at CIRA are currently working on transitioning some of our imagery products and code onto servers at GINA - and this would include the "erf-dynamic scaling" for the DNB. Hopefully, it will be up and running soon.
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