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VISIT: Meteorological Interpretation Blog

By Dan Bikos, Sheldon Kusselson and Jorel Torres

On 30 November 2020, a trough affected the Mid-Atlantic region and was responsible for the following severe weather reports:

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/201130_rpts.html

In this blog post, we’ll examine aspects of the synoptic scale setup for this event.

The following GOES-16 low-level water vapor (7.3 micron) animation:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/30nov20/band10/&loop_speed_ms=200

depicts… Read more »

Lewis Grasso1, Dan Bikos1, Jorel Torres1, John Forsythe1, Heather Q. Cronk1, Curtis J. Seaman1, Emily Berndt2

1Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

2NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center, Huntsville, AL

In the afternoon of 16 February 2020 a dust layer moved off western Africa. A loop of Read more »

On 4 July 2020 a thunderstorm developed in southern Saskatchewan that led to numerous tornadoes (video, picturepictures).

Let’s analyze various satellite derived moisture products in the time period leading up to the tornadic storm.  The following loop 4-panel loop:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/4july20/4panel_moisture&loop_speed_ms=80

Upper-left: GOES-16 visible (0.64 micron) imagery.

Read more »

This blog entry by Sheldon Kusselson summarizes satellite moisture imagery and products leading to the flood event over central Michigan on 18 May 2020.  Comparison with previous events are included.

Read more »

By Jorel Torres, Dan Bikos and Ed Szoke

A line of severe storms moved through the southern plains on 4 May 2020, producing numerous hail and wind reports across the region (accessed via SPC). The GOES-16 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB is shown below, overlaid onto the GOES-16 CAPE product from 17Z, 4 May 2020 to 00Z, 5 May… Read more »

During the overnight hours of March 18-19, 2020, there were numerous reports of severe weather (including tornadoes) in north Texas:

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/200318_rpts.html

This blog entry will focus on the storm repsonsible for the tornado reports between 0615 – 0650 UTC near Abilene, TX.

The storm of interest can be viewed in this 4-panel display zoomed in to… Read more »

By Ed Szoke and Jorel Torres

On 12 Feb 2020 a strong cold front pushed southward across the Northern Plains and Midwest bringing dramatically colder temperatures and howling northerly winds, creating widespread blowing snow and blizzard conditions during the daytime hours of 12 Feb.  While dramatic, such conditions are not unusual for the Northern Plains, where forecasters have noticed that… Read more »

A snow event in southwest Kansas on 28/29 January 2020 led to widespread snow amounts of 4 to 8 inches, with locally higher amounts (above 12″).  On the 29th, a thin layer of fog developed over the snow covered land.  Inspect the GOES-16 imagery: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/29jan20/4panel&loop_speed_ms=60

Upper left: Visible (0.64 micron) band

Upper right: Read more »

A snow event in southwest Kansas on 28/29 January 2020 led to widespread snow amounts of 4 to 8 inches, with locally higher amounts (above 12″).  On the 29th, a thin layer of fog developed over the snow covered land.  Inspect the GOES-16 imagery:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/29jan20/4panel&loop_speed_ms=60

Upper left: Visible (0.64 micron) band

Upper right: Read more »

By Dan Bikos and Bill Line

On 8 January 2020 numerous snow squalls moved across Pennsylvania leading to the issuance of multiple snow squall warnings by the NWS.  One of the challenges with this event is that it spanned the time period around sunrise.  Obviously radar and IR satellite imagery is not affected by this, but the Day Cloud Phase… Read more »

On 16 December 2019, SPC issued an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms for portions of Louisiana and Mississippi:

One of the favorable ingredients for this severe weather setup was the presence of an Elevated Mixed Layer (EML) which is depicted in the 12Z Jackson, MS sounding:

Read more »

Australian Wildfires

Nighttime visible imagery (i.e.Near-Constant Contrast or NCC) clearly shows the Australian wildfires that are raging and ablaze in New South Wales, a state in southeastern Australia. NCC detects emitted lights from the fires, and at times shows the fire perimeter lines and reflected light from the extensive smoke plumes. The animation below displays nightly Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership… Read more »

Australian Wildfires

Nighttime visible imagery (i.e. Near-Constant Contrast or NCC) clearly shows the Australian wildfires that are raging and ablaze in New South Wales, a state in southeastern Australia. NCC detects emitted lights from the fires, and at times shows the fire perimeter lines and reflected light from the extensive smoke plumes. The animation below displays nightly Suomi-National Polar-orbiting… Read more »

Lake-effect snow from 7 November 2019

GOES-16 imagery depicts lake-effect snowbands over the western Great Lakes on 7 November 2019:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/7nov19/4panel&loop_speed_ms=60

Upper left: 0.64 micron visible band

Upper right: 10.3 micron IR band with default color table (IR_Color_Clouds_Winter)

Lower left: 10.3 micron IR band with GOES Snow Squall color table

Lower right: Day Cloud Phase… Read more »

Lake-effect snow from 7 November 2019

GOES-16 imagery depicts lake-effect snowbands over the western Great Lakes on 7 November 2019:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/7nov19/4panel&loop_speed_ms=60

Upper left: 0.64 micron visible band

Upper right: 10.3 micron IR band with default color table (IR_Color_Clouds_Winter)

Lower left: 10.3 micron IR band with GOES Snow Squall color table

Lower right: Day Cloud Phase… Read more »

On 31 October 2019 a very dry airmass existed over the southwest US.  To illustrate the dry airmass, consider the sounding from Albuquerque, NM with a precipitable water amount of 0.05″ (1.27 mm):

The synoptic scale pattern was characterized by above normal PW in the east… Read more »

During the overnight hours of 21 October 2019, we analyze multiple applications of GOES imagery at night.

First, we look over the northeast where fog developed.  Here is the GOES-16 nighttime microphysics product:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/21Oct19/fog&loop_speed_ms=60

We observe large areas of fog (dull aqua) or low clouds (aqua) in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  Fog… Read more »

By Sheldon Kusselson

ALPW loop of 2019 event:

ALPW loop of 2017 event:

Subtropical storm Melissa

By Sheldon Kusselson and Dan Bikos

Subtropical storm Melissa exists off the Eastern coastline of the U.S. on 10-11 October 2019, as GOES-16 visible imagery on 11 October shows:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/11Oct19/vis&loop_speed_ms=60

note the lack of deep convection over the center of the circulation, however convection does exist north and northeast of the center at this time.

Another… Read more »

The Swan Lake Fire, located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, south of Anchorage, AK initiated in June 2019 due to lightning. Over the past few months, the fire has steadily grown, and as of 20 August 2019, more than 130,000 acres have burned.

To get a close look at the fire refer to the following comparison (see imagery… Read more »

Heavy rain fell in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas the past few weeks, causing major flooding along portions of the Arkansas River. In the RealEarth image below (i.e. 1930Z on 27 May 2019), major flooding is indicated in orange and red colors and extends from Fort Gibson in northeast Oklahoma to New Blaine in northwest Arkansas.

Read more »

By Lewis Grasso and Jorel Torres

One of the goals of the JPSS program set forth by NOAA is enhanced monitoring of the Earth’s environment. One specific type of event of the Earth’s environment that was captured by VIIRS on-board not only the operational NOAA-20 satellite platform, but also the demonstration S-NPP satellite platform was katabatic winds. Katabatic winds that… Read more »

By Dan Bikos and Lewis Grasso

During the afternoon of 30 April 2019, a dryline mixed eastward from New Mexico into the Texas panhandle, as seen in this GOES-16 visible loop with METARs overlaid:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/30apr19/vis_metars&loop_speed_ms=60

Thunderstorms initiate along various segments of the dryline during the animation.

The moisture gradient is substantial across the dryline so we… Read more »

By Louie Grasso and Dan Bikos

On the day of 17 April 2019 observations indicated a significant upper-level trough over the southwest portions of the US.  As is typical with this type of synoptic setup, southwesterly flow ahead of the trough existed over northern Mexico extending northeastward into Texas.  In addition, this synoptic setup is associated with the development of… Read more »

Nighttime Fog Monitoring

Satellite fog monitoring during the nighttime can be a challenge since geostationary datasets are limited to infrared imagery. However, with the new GOES-16/17 and JPSS datasets users can employ polar-orbiting and geostationary imagery to identify and monitor areas of fog and low stratus (a.k.a liquid water clouds). As meteorologists, we know that fog can significantly reduce ‘near-surface’ visibilities affecting aviation and… Read more »

Monitoring severe weather during the nighttime can be challenging since GOES-16/17 is limited to infrared imagery during the overnight hours. In complement to geostationary data sets, polar-orbiting satellite data can be utilized, specifically the Near-Constant Contrast (NCC) product.

For unfamiliar readers, NCC is a derived product of the Day/Night Band (DNB) that utilizes a sun/moon reflectance model that illuminates atmospheric features… Read more »

High Plains Snowstorm

A strong extratropical cyclone moved through the Rocky Mountains and western high plains over the course of 10 April 2019. The low-pressure system produced heavy precipitation in the forms of rain and snow, along with blustery winds.

The system produced heavy snow over a large areal extent spanning from Colorado, Wyoming, portions of Nebraska and South Dakota. Below are surface… Read more »

Nebraska flooding

The past two weeks Nebraska has been inundated with heavy precipitation, in the forms of rain and snow. Nebraska was significantly affected by the ‘record-breaking’ mid-latitude cyclone that past through the area from 13-15 March 2019.  Refer to the GOES-16 10.3um infrared satellite imagery below, seen from 5Z, 13 March 2019 to 22Z, 14 March 2019. Throughout the animation, notice… Read more »

Monitoring lake ice coverage over the Great Lakes via satellite is vital and affects shipping industries, tourism and recreation, especially over the winter months when ice develops, grows and expands over the lakes. According to the Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA) and NOAA CoastWatch, the total ice coverage between all 5 lakes is 80% as of 8 March… Read more »

Forecasting snowfall and snowfall rates can be quite challenging, especially in radar-limited and or radar-deprived regions. A polar-orbiting satellite ‘Snowfall Rate’ product can be used together with radar observations to help anticipate snowfall rates, identify snowfall areal extent and snowfall maximas. To highlight the product’s capabilities, refer to the following snowfall case event over Northern Colorado, between 3-15Z, 2 March… Read more »

During the overnight hours of 25 February 2019, low clouds and fog developed over portions of northwest Kansas, eastern Colorado and southwest Nebraska.  The low cloud and fog developed over a field of snow on the ground from a recent blizzard.  Low cloud and fog on top of snow on the ground can be difficult to detect in some satellite… Read more »

Popocatépetl Volcanic Eruption

Popocatépetl Volcano erupted overnight, spewing volcanic ash emissions, from 0200-1600UTC, 15 February 2019. Geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites observed this atmospheric phenomenon from 00-16 UTC, 15 February 2019.

GOES-16 3.9um 

A hot spot (i.e. white, warm brightness temperature) is produced from the volcanic eruption, along with its ash plume (i.e. elongated, cooler, black, brightness temperatures). Notice how the ash plume… Read more »

By Lewis Grasso and Jorel Torres

VIIRS captures interesting imagery in the Arctic. From 0314 UTC to 1233 UTC, 13 February 2019, VIIRS, on-board NOAA-20 and S-NPP, imaged fascinating features in the Arctic. In particular, imagery from Band I4 (3.74um) with a sub-satellite footprint size of 375-meters captured several features: 1) oscillation of an ice field due to lunar tides,… Read more »

On 4 February a shortwave tracked across the Upper Great Lakes towards the east, ahead of the shortwave, anomalously high moisture at low to mid-levels existed which contributed to a historic ice storm for the region.

The NWS forecast office in Marquette, MI has a great web-page summarizing this event including pictures and the meteorological environment:

Read more »

Observing sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from satellite is an important aspect in weather forecasting for a variety of applications. Applications consist of (but not limited to) forecasting hurricane intensity, sea fog, and convection over the oceans. But remember, oceans are vast, making up ~70% of the Earth’s surface, and more importantly, oceans are remote, where surface observations are scarce…. Read more »

A cold arctic air mass moved into the Upper Midwest the past two days (29-30 September 2019), providing extreme cold temperatures for several states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. Along with high winds, the calculated, respective, wind chills are even lower.

Satellite imagery, comprised of polar-orbiting and geostationary data, along with surface and upper air… Read more »

As Winter Storm Harper passed through the northeast United States, the storm brought heavy precipitation in the forms of snow, rain, and freezing rain that produced significant ice accumulation on the ground. Storm total snowfall, rainfall and ice accumulations were observed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Specifically snow and ice accumulations ranged from 1-11 inches, and a trace-to-0.3 inches… Read more »

Winter Storm Harper

A large low pressure system, slammed into the western United States (US), bringing heavy rain and snow, high winds, along with producing blizzards (for the Sierra Nevadas) and localized flooding for low-lying areas.

The areal extent of the system is seen via ‘Preliminary, Non-Operational‘ GOES-17 Day Cloud Phase Distinction RGB (below) at 1925 UTC, 16 January 2019, as… Read more »

Areas of snow cover can often lead to areas of persistent fog and low cloudiness under the right conditions.  And determining the areas of fog and low clouds from snow cover can be tricky during the daytime hours.  Here we look at a case from 10 December 2018 over the Midwest the snow cover likely contributed to low cloudiness and… Read more »

New Mexico Snowstorm

Due to an upper-level disturbance passing through the southwestern United States, abundant snowfall has fallen in New Mexico, southwestern Colorado and parts of Texas (see social media snowfall image here). Snow totals range from a few inches to 16 inches at higher elevations. Snowfall has been observed via surface observations and by satellite this morning, 28 December 2018 at ~16Z. … Read more »

DNB and satellite identification

Day/Night Band (DNB) is apart of 22 spectral channels on the VIIRS instrument, in which VIIRS is on-board S-NPP and NOAA-20 satellites. DNB can assist users in monitoring atmospheric and surface features via emitted and reflected light sources, during the nighttime. Features identified by DNB (but not limited to), span from observing cloud cover, snow cover, lightning, auroras,… Read more »

On 21 November 2018 a cold front moved through upstate New York with an associated band of heavier snow, as seen in this WSR-88D reflectivity image:

Note the narrow region of higher reflectivities extending from near Syracuse northeastward.  This snowband prompted a snow squall warning issued by the NWS office… Read more »

It’s nearing wintertime, and over the North and South Poles, sea ice accretion is occurring. Using RAMMB Slider, users can observe sea ice motion and sea ice breakup, via Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on-board the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP), and NOAA-20 satellites. For unaware users, VIIRS has 22 spectral channels, where 16 channels are at 750-m… Read more »

Alaskan Aurora

Early this morning, 5 November 2018, an aurora was visible over the state of Alaska. The aurora was large in areal extent and produced green hues over the Anchorage, AK night sky. A photo of the aurora can be seen, via the following link. Polar-orbiting satellite products observed the phenomenon; imagery is seen before (4 November 2018) and… Read more »

The Day/Night Band (DNB) utilizes a sun/moon reflectance model that illuminates atmospheric features, and senses emitted and reflected light sources during the nighttime hours. The DNB is at 0.7um and is apart of 22 spectral channels on-board the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite and the new NOAA-20 satellite.

In the DNB video below (using CIRA POLAR… Read more »

Hurricane Willa

Hurricane Willa is forecasted to make landfall, along the coast of Mexico, within the next few hours. Willa, once deemed a Category 5 hurricane, has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane within the last 24 hours, with max sustained winds at 125 mph, moving north-northeast at 6 mph according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 9AM… Read more »

It is that time of year again, to observe Santa Ana Wind events for Southern California. On 15 October 2018, an upper-level trough advected into the southwestern United States (i.e. see GOES-16, Upper Level Water Vapor imagery below), produced cold air advection aloft, and brought strong subsidence (i.e. sinking motion) to the surface. The strong subsidence, brought cold, dry, and… Read more »

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael has made landfall today, along the Florida Panhandle, between Tyndall Air Force Base, FL and Mexico Beach, Florida. Radar and satellite products observed Michael, as it approached the Florida Panhandle (seen below). Over the last 12 hours, Michael increased in maximum wind speed to 155-mph and had a pressure level of 919-mb.

Radar – Base Reflectivity… Read more »

This blog entry is by Sheldon Kusselson and in the format of a PDF document:

Hurricane Rosa Event_LateSept_EarlyOct2018

By Louie Grasso, Dan Bikos, Jorel Torres and Ed Szoke

During the summer of 2018 over the High Plains, several significant severe storms occurred.  Several hailstorms moved southward over the Central High Plains and produced noticeable hail swaths and damage scars on the ground that were captured by GOES-16 ABI.  The purpose of this blog is to compare and contrast… Read more »

Hurricane Florence

The hurricane season in the Atlantic has been quite inactive throughout the majority of the summer, until this past week. Currently there are three active hurricanes located in the eastern, central and western Atlantic Ocean, named Hurricane Helene, Isaac, and Florence, respectively; all with varying magnitude, intensity, and storm tracks. However, with all the present activity, we will focus… Read more »

Hurricane Lane

Hurricane Lane is making headlines this week, as the storm approaches the Hawaiian islands. As of the latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) update (8 am HST, 23 August 2018), Lane is moving quite slow, with a northwest movement at ~ 7 miles per hour. Within the last day or two, Lane has weakened, but is still a Category 4 hurricane… Read more »

Hurricane Hector

Hurricane Hector has been a ‘Major Hurricane’ in the Central Pacific for the past week. At one point, the hurricane was nearly categorized as a Category 5 hurricane, however weakened, and is currently a Category 3 hurricane (i.e. ~120 mph winds as of 8AM Hawaiian Standard Time (HST), 9 August 2018). The storm is moving west at ~16 mph,… Read more »

Dust off the coast of Africa!

Earlier this morning, a large areal extent of dust advected off the coast of Africa. The new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  – 20 (NOAA-20) satellite, launched into orbit back in November 2017, captured the dust via Day/Night Band (DNB) product at 0323Z, 1 August 2018. DNB illuminates atmospheric features, senses emitted and reflected light sources (i.e. dust and clouds… Read more »

Carr Fire

It has been a very active fire season in California. Another fire burning in the state, is the Carr Fire, located in Shasta County, just west of Redding, CA. Over 44,000+ acres have burned with only 3% containment as of 27 July 2018. According to sources, the mechanical failure of a vehicle is presumed to be the cause… Read more »

Typhoon Jongdari

By late weekend, Typhoon Jongdari is forecasted to make landfall along Japan’s southern islands. Typhoon Jongdari is expected to strengthen, with an initial northeast storm motion, then elicit a circuitous path, moving westward, within the next 24-hours. The typhoon is anticipated to be at Category 1 hurricane strength (74-95 miles per hour), just before landfall. Heavy rain, strong winds, storm… Read more »

Ferguson Fire, CA

The Ferguson Fire erupted last Friday, 13 July 2018 at ~2030 local time.  The fire is near Yosemite National Park, burned 22,000+ acres, and is only 7% contained, as of 20 July 2018. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation, while several communities have been evacuated from the area, and one fatality has been confirmed. Expected… Read more »

Pawnee Fire, CA

In the late afternoon on 23 June 2018, the Pawnee Fire in Northern California initiated and has now spread to 11,000+ acres. As of this morning 26 June 2018, the fire is located a few miles north of Clearlake, CA and has forced thousands of people to evacuate the area, where 20+ structures have been destroyed. The fire is currently… Read more »

There are two GOES-16 products related to convective activity.  One is related to convective initiation; that is, this product will identify new cumulus that will further develop into mature thunderstorms.  The second product identifies which mature thunderstorms have a high probability of producing severe weather.  However, both GOES-16 products require active cumulus development.  We seek to fill a void by… Read more »

Hurricane Aletta

Hurricane Aletta has grown tremendously over the past 24 hours, and it is now determined as a Category 4 hurricane, as of this morning, 8 June 2018. Aletta is currently located southwest of Mexico, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Aletta is moving northwestward, and is forecasted to drop in intensity by the weekend, as the system moves into higher wind… Read more »

This blog entry will compare traditional satellite animations of right-moving and left-moving storms with storm-relative animations as observed by GOES-16 visible imagery in AWIPS with the Feature Following Zoom tool.  Also, comparisons will be made between different temporal resolutions, that is, AWIPS CONUS 5-minute versus mesoscale 1-minute sectors.

We will start with the traditional satellite animation which is for the… Read more »

Yesterday, Volcan de Fuego erupted again in southern Guatemala. The pyroclastic flow of Fuego surprised many, and as of this morning 4 June 2018, at least 25 people have died, while many others are injured. Locals near Fuego, are in the process of being evacuated from the area.

Fuego erupted around 18 UTC, 3 June 2018, ejecting hot gas,… Read more »

Ute Park Fire, New Mexico

The Ute Park Fire initiated and has erupted over the past 24 hours. As of this morning, 1 June 2018, the fire has burned over 8,000 acres and is at zero percent containment, forcing mandatory evacuations. The fire is located in Ute Park, NM and is east of Eagle Nest, NM. Several structures have already been burned, and the cause… Read more »

Alberto

As of 29 May 2018, subtropical depression Alberto has been advecting northward, through the southeastern United States. Alberto made landfall yesterday 28 May 2018, along the Gulf Coast, near the Florida Panhandle. Alberto produced heavy rainfall and has the potential for tornadoes, as it pushes north into the Ohio Valley within the next few days. Rain estimates are 3+ inches… Read more »

Buzzard Fire, New Mexico

A fire has initiated in western New Mexico, denoted as the Buzzard Fire. Currently, the fire is burning within the Gila National Forest in Catron County, New Mexico. As of this morning, 24 May 2018, the fire has burned 4,500 plus acres. The cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation. New Mexico has been experiencing… Read more »

During the overnight and morning hours of May 22, 2018 there was widespread fog over the upper midwest region centered around Wisconsin.  We’ll start by looking at the familiar fog product (10.3 – 3.9 micron) overlaid with ceiling (top left: hundreds of feet AGL) and visibility (bottom in miles):

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/22may18/fog&loop_speed_ms=180

Recall in the fog product, high… Read more »

Hail swath observed by GOES-16

On 14 May 2018, a severe thunderstorm near Denver, Colorado resulted in accumulations of hail (reports of 2 to 6 inches in depth locally).

The hail swath left by the thunderstorm can easily be observed in GOES-16 imagery:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/14may18/&loop_speed_ms=60

After the passage of the thunderstorms.  The hail swatch can be seen as… Read more »

Colorado Dust Storm

Yesterday, 17 April 2018, there was a large dust storm that occurred in the state of Colorado. The dust storm initiated due to dry and and very windy conditions, originating from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, near Alamosa, Colorado. Throughout the afternoon, visibility was quite low, in portions of the state.

Check out the surface… Read more »

Oklahoma Wildfires

Over the weekend, there have been several wildfires in western Oklahoma. The US Drought Monitor , as of 12 April 2018, has Oklahoma experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Refer to the US drought monitor image of Oklahoma, below.

 

The fires in Oklahoma have burned over 300,000 acres as… Read more »

The state of California, is about to experience an atmospheric river this weekend. For readers that are not familiar with atmospheric rivers, they are long moisture plumes that originate from the tropical/subtropical regions that advect to higher latitudes. Atmospheric rivers are capable of producing large amounts of precipitation, in the forms of rain and snow and can lead to flooding… Read more »

Colorado Fog

Fog engulfed northeastern Colorado this morning. Thick fog persisted over several hours, along the northern, I-25 corridor and eastern Colorado plains. Real-time surface observations below, can point out the foggy areas, indicated by the horizontal, parallel, pink lines. Surface observations (05-14Z, 26 March 2018) are over Colorado, and the neighboring states.

Read more »

The Faka-Union Fire, located in southwest Florida has burned over 9,000 acres with only 50% containment. The fire is located near the Picayune Strand State Forest. The fire started out as a ‘prescribed burn’ last weekend, but due to erratic weather conditions, started to burn out of control. The smoke and fires have caused temporary road closures in southwestern… Read more »

A nor’easter occurred on 7 March 2018 which resulted in heavy snow, strong winds and rain across portions of the Northeast U.S.  In this blog entry we’ll examine the performance of the NSSL WRF-ARW via synthetic water vapor imagery in relation to the cyclogenesis aspects.

The following 4 panel display:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/7mar18/synthetic_goes_compare/&loop_speed_ms=60

shows the following:

Upper left: … Read more »

Tropical Cyclone Dumazile

A tropical cyclone has been present in the Indian Ocean, the past few days. Yesterday, on 4 March 2018, tropical cyclone Dumazile skirted along the coasts of Madagascar and La Reunion bringing high winds, heavy rain and storm surge along the way. To persons that are not familiar, Madagascar is located on the southeast side of Africa,… Read more »

East Coast Weather….

Winter Storm Riley inundated the northeast United States with strong winds, storm surge and high amounts of rain and snow. Current snowfall totals over the northeast can be seen via the National Weather Service – Snowfall Reports web-link.  The screenshot below, shows the snowfall distribution over the northeastern United States, with current snowfall observations (as of 2230 UTC,… Read more »

More flooding has occurred over the past weekend, due to a series of storms passing through the Lower Mississippi River Valley and along the Ohio River. Storm totals across the area were in the range of 4-8 inches of liquid precipitation. In the image below, National Weather Service (NWS) – Paducah, Kentucky shows total precipitation values along the Mississippi and… Read more »

Flooding across the CONUS

Within the last few days, extensive flooding has occurred due to heavy precipitation from Texas all the way to Michigan. Just look at the NOAA NWS River Forecast map, that encompasses river gauge data across the CONtinental United States (CONUS) on 23 February 2018. Each of the data points exhibit the magnitude of flooding. Notice the range of colors,… Read more »

GOES-16 captured some amazing imagery on the development of multiple vortices off the coast of southern California on 5 February 2018:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/5feb18/&loop_speed_ms=60

 

Fuego de Volcan, Guatemala

A volcanic eruption took place on 1 February 2018 over the country of Guatemala. If you don’t know where exactly Guatemala is, it is located in central America, bordering the countries of Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Guatemala has over 30+ volcanoes within the country, however only three (Pacaya, Fuego and Santiaguito) are currently active. The volcano that… Read more »

Mayon Volcano Eruption

The Pacific Rim, has been quite volatile throughout the years, ranging from volcanic eruptions to earthquakes to tsunami’s, that are produced along the Rim or nearby. Yesterday, 22 January 2018, around noon local time, the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines erupted where fragments of lava, ash and steam ejected into the sky. The volcano is located in the… Read more »

2018 Nor’Easter and NCC!

To kick of the new year, 2018, we start off with a Nor’Easter that has developed over the East Coast and has brought freezing rain, sleet, snow, and high winds to the coastal areas, ranging from northeast Florida, the Carolinas to the New England areas. This particular storm experienced rapid cyclogenesis: a significant decrease in pressure of the low-pressure system… Read more »

GOES-16 imagery captured the spectacular explosive cyclogenesis event on the eastern seaboard on 4 January.  First, we’ll look at the 3 GOES-16 water vapor channels along with the air mass RGB product:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/4jan18/4panel_wv&loop_speed_ms=60

During this loop we see an instant occlusion type of cyclogenesis.  We also see the development of a sting jet, annotated on the… Read more »

When analyzing satellite imagery during lake-effect snow events, one is interested in looking at the low-level clouds associated with the snowbands.  However, sometimes high clouds obscure the low-level clouds making analysis from a satellite imagery perspective more challenging.  An example of high cloud obscuration can be seen in this GOES-16 loop from 2 January 2018:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/2jan18&loop_speed_ms=60

Read more »

Snow in the southeastern US!

Due to strong, cold, upper-level low that swept through the southeastern United States last weekend (8-9 December 2017), there were variable snow totals that accumulated from southeastern Louisiana, all the way to the Appalachian Mountains.  Snow totals varied from a trace of snow to 10 inches plus in some areas.  The local NWS-Atlanta, GA, has some updated snow totalsRead more »

Thomas Fire

Last week, more California wildfires had been initiated northwest of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Out of the fires that have spurred up in the last week, the Thomas Fire is the largest one. Over 230,000+ acres have been burned by the Thomas Fire, with approximately 15% of fire being contained so far. The cause of the fire is still… Read more »

December Wildfires in California

More wildfires are ravaging the California landscape again, as hot, dry and windy conditions persist over the west coast. Fires this time, have initiated and developed to the north and northwest of Los Angeles, California. Several fires have been identified and named such as the ‘Thomas’, ‘Creek’ and ‘Rye’ Fires. The Thomas fire started in the evening hours… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

On 22 November 2017, lee wave clouds (also referred to as orographic cirrus) developed downwind of various mountain ranges in Montana and Wyoming.  GOES-16… Read more »

Tropical Storm Rina

Ever since Hurricane Ophelia, it has been rather quiet in the Atlantic Ocean in regards to tropical cyclone activity, but now we have Tropical Storm Rina in the midst. As of early morning, 7 November 2017, Rina is positioned in the central Atlantic Ocean and is projected to move north, then northeast, and is not expected to hit… Read more »

Early Morning Fog in Colorado

Early this morning, 3 November 2017, the Colorado Front Range was inundated with fog and low stratus clouds. Fog persisted for several hours this morning. Below is an animation of the fog along the Front Range of Colorado via the ‘RAP Real-Time’ surface observations website, between 08-15Z. As a quick reminder, foggy areas are identified via pink, parallel,… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

On 30 October 2017 GOES-16 observed a leeside cold front with associated gravity waves in the vicinity of eastern New Mexico and the Texas… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

Cold advection over the relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes resulted in bands of showers across the Great Lakes as seen in the… Read more »

Ever since last week, Hurricane Ophelia was meandering in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, not knowing where to go. Ophelia gradually became a tropical storm, then hurricane, as it moved northeastward and past through the Azores. As of this past weekend (14-15 October 2017), Ophelia inched closer and closer to the country of Ireland. Before Ophelia made landfall, the strength… Read more »

California Wildfires

It is finally October, where the fall season has hit its stride, but unfortunately wildfires are still a-brewing in the Golden State. California, in recent days, has been subjected to more wildfires along the Northern side of the state. The majority of the fires are north of San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The cause of these… Read more »

The CIRA advected layer precipitable water (ALPW) product for Hurricane Harvey is quite interesting:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/28aug17&loop_speed_ms=600

The loop spans from 12Z 23 August to 12Z 29 August.  During that time period, we see the development of Hurricane Harvey in the western Gulf of Mexico.  There are clear indications of moisture convergence in the vertical during the early… Read more »

Hurricane Harvey

Just a few days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas, Harvey has downgraded to a Tropical Storm, however it is still bringing torrential rainfall and massive flooding to southeast Texas and Louisiana. To recap, Hurricane Harvey made late-night landfall on 25 August 2017 as a Category 4 Hurricane.

Some of the latest precipitation totals are as high… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

The following loop is the GOES-16 visible (0.64 micron) band centered along the California / Oregon border on the morning of 15 August 2017:

Read more »

Fires in Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest (PNW), that is, the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Western Montana are experiencing a significant heat wave right now. Air temperatures are scorching hot, with temperatures in the high 90’s and low 100’s. An amplified upper-level ridge has been quite persistent over the PNW, bringing the high temperatures and dry air to the area.

Due… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

We’ve shown blog entries that highlight the value of the CIRA advected layer precipitable water (ALPW) product for heavy rain cases.  Here we show… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

During the overnight hours of 26-27 July 2017, a large area in the vicinity of Kansas City received greater than 5″ of rainfall, with… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

On the morning of 18 July 2017, low-level clouds moved eastward through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  This can be seen in the… Read more »

It is that time of year again! The time of year where tropical storms, hurricanes initiate and permeate through the Atlantic and the East Pacific Oceans. Currently, a few to note are tropical depression Greg, Tropical Storm Irwin and Hurricane Hilary. A screenshot of the National Hurricane Center’s  (NHC) ‘Active Storm’ Map showing the relative locations of the storms is… Read more »

California (Alamo Fire)

The state of California had sufficient moisture over the winter where the Sierra Nevada Mountains tabulated record amounts of snowfall. However, as we have transitioned into the summer months of 2017, fires have been initiated in the southern and southwestern parts of California.

One fire to note is the Alamo Fire which is located just east of Santa Maria,… Read more »

Between the first and second week of July, moisture associated with the southwest monsoon surged into the Mojave dessert.  Prior to the arrival of this airmass, very hot temperatures and low dewpoint temperatures existed throughout the southwest.  After the arrival of this airmass, temperatures were not quite as high, and dewpoint temperatures were considerably higher.  The CIRA advected layer precipitable… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

We begin by looking at the GOES-16 visible (0.64 micron) loop on the morning of 11 July 2017 at 5 minute temporal resolution:

Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

By Louie Grasso and Dan Lindsey

On the morning of 30 June 2017, an undular bore is observed in north Texas.  The clouds associated… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

A loop of GOES-16 visible (0.64 micron) imagery on 19 June 2017 over the northeast:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/19jun17&loop_speed_ms=80

illustrates the effects of… Read more »

Colorado: Dead Dog Wildfire

Another fire is catching headlines in Colorado the past few days, it is called the Dead Dog Wildfire located within Dead Dog Gulch. The fire is located approximately 10 miles north-west of Rangely, Colorado. Hot, windy and dry conditions have persisted in northwest Colorado over the past few days, where the fire initiated over the past weekend. According to… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

GOES-16 IR band 13 at 10.35 microns depicts an MCS across Texas:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/8jun17/B13&loop_speed_ms=100

The MCS decays during the loop.  Can… Read more »

Tropical Storm Beatriz

Yesterday evening, Thursday, 1 June 2017, Tropical Storm Beatriz made landfall in southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. The tropical storm brought heavy rains, flooding and mudslides to the area, resulting in 2 deaths as of Friday, 2 June 2017. Once deemed a tropical storm, turned back into a tropical depression soon after making landfall and is currently a remnant… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

By Ed Szoke and Dan Bikos

On 8 May 2017 severe thunderstorms hit northeast Colorado with a devastating hail storm across the Denver metro… Read more »

As the spring season accelerates into summer, it is that time of year again for fires to occur all around the United States. A large fire that is a-brewing is the West Mims Fire located in southern Georgia, embedded in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. As of 11 May 2017, the fire, initially started by lightning, has burnt over 140,000 acres and… Read more »

Tropical Cyclone Donna

Have you ever been to the Solomon Islands or the Republic of Vanuatu? They are both remote islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, relatively close in proximity to Australia and Papau New Guinea. There is a tropical cyclone that is a-brewing in this area of the world….her name is tropical cyclone ‘Donna’. As of Friday morning, 5 May 2017,… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

By Dan Bikos, Louie Grasso, and Ed Szoke

For this blog entry, we are going to focus in on the state of Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

During the afternoon hours of 15 April, one of the GOES-16 mesoscale sectors captured severe thunderstorms in the Iowa / Nebraska region:

Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

The GOES-16 visible (0.64 micron) loop shows what appears to be pretty straightforward – recent snow cover melting during daytime heating in southern Colorado:

Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

The split window difference product is the difference between GOES-16 bands 13 and 15, that is 10.35 minus 12.3 microns.  The high spatial resolution… Read more »

Another round of storms are headed for the Pacific Northwest, bringing high winds and precipitation. Updates on the storms can be seen via the following link.

An observer on the ground can see the current storm via satellite, utilizing polar-orbiting data. A data product that comes from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on-board the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

By Darren Van Cleave (NWS Salt Lake City)

On the morning of April 4, lake-effect showers existed off Salt Lake of Utah, as seen… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

On the afternoon of 23 March 2017, an upper level trough in the western US moving eastward was responsible for a strong lee cyclogenesis… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

On the morning of 24 March 2017, there were some interesting fog / low stratus events in the West.  In northeast Montana, we can… Read more »

22 March 2017 undular bore

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

An undular bore occurred on the morning of 22 March in the southern states and can be seen in this GOES-16 visible loop from… Read more »

14 March 2017 Blizzard

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

The 13-14 March 2017 blizzard that affected portions of the northeast can be viewed from a moisture perspective via the CIRA advected layer precipitable… Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

Authors: Dan Bikos, Chris Gitro, Ed Szoke and Chad Gravelle.

On 6 March 2017, a developing cyclone moved eastward across the central US, causing… Read more »

Madagascar! A small country located in Africa, just east of Mozambique was hit by Tropical Cyclone Enawo making landfall today, 7 March 2017. Right before landfall the tropical cyclone was near ‘Category 4 status’ with winds approximately 145 mph. It was the strongest landfall in 13 years. The storm will bring heavy precipitation and flooding to the country.

To… Read more »

Comparison of GOES-16 with GOES-13

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

One of the 1-minute mesoscale sectors for GOES-16  captured a series of polar low-like circulations over northeastern Lake Ontario moving into New York:

Read more »

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

Mountain wave (orographic cirrus) clouds were observed in the Rocky Mountain region on the morning of 3 March 2017 as observed in this 10.35… Read more »

On the evening of 21 February 2017, a well defined mid-level circulation moved into the San Francisco Bay region.  This circulation was responsible for a region of convection in the vicinity, mostly showers but a few thunderstorms with some low-level rotation.

The mid-level circulation can be readily identified in the 700-500 mb layer of the CIRA advected layer precipitable water… Read more »

After a series of tornadoes ripped through southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi on 7 February 2017, a power outage occurred in eastern New Orleans affecting 10,000 plus people. Below is a screenshot of the affected areas: the red lines imply the power lines are off. Additionally, there are a different colored triangles on the map: the blue, yellow and red… Read more »

Who would have thought that the West Coast would get more precipitation? In a series of atmospheric river events that pummeled the West Coast a few weeks ago, another synoptic-scale precipitation event approaches….yet again. As of this morning, parts of Washington, Oregon and California are expected to have 3-5 inches of rain and from 1-3 feet of snow in the… Read more »

The West Coast of the US experienced multiple storms between 17-22 January 2017 that resulted in substantial precipitation:

ahps_precip

Early in the period, an Atmospheric River with origins from the central tropical Pacific Ocean advected towards Washington, Oregon and northern California:

Slide1Read more »

As we all know there were two atmospheric river events that occurred in California in the past week and a half. Both atmospheric river events dumped large amounts of precipitation and snow to the state of California. There was a plethora of reports indicating mudslides, flooding and several feet of snow (10+ feet of snow) in the Read more »

A significant atmospheric river affected the west coast on 7-9 January, 2017.  The GOES water vapor imagery shows the development of clouds associated with an approaching trough off the west coast, these clouds advected into the west coast:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/8jan17_wv&loop_speed_ms=80

and resulted in significant precipitation across California:

ahps_precipRead more »

Lake Effect Snow, what is it? The general public may not be familiar with this term, because this meteorological phenomenon does not occur in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. However, lake effect snow is a common occurrence in the Great Lakes Region of the United States.

So what is lake effect snow anyway? In short, lake… Read more »

Above average temperatures have been persisting over a great portion of the United States, bringing drought-like conditions. One of the areas that have been experiencing the lack in precipitation is the Nantahala National Forest located in Western North Carolina. In Figure 1, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the severity of the drought, highlighting areas of the Nantahala National Forest… Read more »

In this blog entry, we look at imagery from the AHI instrument on Himawari-8 with  anticipation for GOES-R over the USA as the ABI instrument is very similar to AHI.

We start with the 0.64 micron (visible) band during the daytime hours of 11 November:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/11nov16_b03

North of Japan, we observe a circulation (as depicted below)… Read more »

Another fire started in south-central Colorado, tabbed the ‘Junkins Fire’. According to the Denver Post, the cause of the fire is unknown however, it was first spotted at 0345 AM MDT in Custer County on 17 October 2016. The fire has spread rapidly over the past day and a half due to high winds and low relative humidity. As of… Read more »

Hurricane Matthew 100616

Hurricane Matthew will be making landfall along the Florida coast later this evening, 6 October 2016. Matthew is currently (~5PM EDT) a Category 4 hurricane topping out at winds of 140 miles per hour. Figure 1 below show Matthew’s path headed toward the east coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas producing significant storm surge and flooding along the coast.

Read more »

Puerto Rico Power Outage 092116

Does everyone just love power outages? They occur at the most inconvenient times, when your cooking dinner, doing work on your home computer or watching the football game. But have you ever experienced a widespread power outage that affected thousands of customers? That’s exactly what happened in Puerto Rico late Wednesday night (21 September 2016) when a fire started near… Read more »

Ahh…it is that time of year again, it’s hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; the blog will focus on the Atlantic hurricane activity that is ongoing. Two to mention that are active right now are the Invest Area 99L and Tropical Storm Gaston. The current status of both Invest Area/Tropical Storm whereabouts can be seen via the National… Read more »

The Gulf Coast has taken a major hit lately with intense rainfall and flooding across the area (Figure 1, below). This past weekend (12 August 2016 through today) there has been a Federal Flood emergency declared in the state of Louisiana. The areas that has been hit the most is south-central and southeastern Louisiana. A summary of the flooding with… Read more »

On 9 August 2016, GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSOR) collected 1-minute imagery of a severe thunderstorm in southeast Montana:

 http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=dev/lindsey/loops/9aug16_g14_montana&image_width=1020&image_height=720&loop_speed_ms=80

The 1-minute visible satellite imagery is particularly important for this case, since the storm is in southeast Montana where WSR-88D coverage is limited due to the large distance from… Read more »

In early-to-mid July there were several fires that started in Colorado. The fires were either lightning or human caused. Three fires to note were the Beaver Creek Fire (northern Jackson County, CO), Cold Springs, Fire (western Boulder County, CO) and the Hayden Pass Fire (western Fremont County, CO). They were all active approximately around the same time-frame, between 9-12 July… Read more »

The Beaver Creek Fire started in northwestern Jackson County in Northern Colorado on 19 June 2016 (Figure 1) and presently is still an active fire. The cause of the fire is still unknown. As of 7 July 2016 the fire has burned approximately 13,642 acres and 5% of the fire perimeter is contained (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4797). For National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters… Read more »

Currently at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), there has been a field campaign underway comparing satellite temperature and moisture soundings (also known as the NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System, NUCAPS) to RAwinsonde OBservation (RAOB) soundings along the Colorado Front Range (Figure 1). The focus of the field campaign is to analyze NUCAPS soundings in a pre-convective… Read more »

The Fort McMurray Wildfires started in the city of Fort McMurray, located in the northeastern part of Alberta, a province of Canada. The wildfires started 01 May 2016 and are still currently burning. The wildfires have burned over 1,200,000 plus acres of land and has reached into parts of western Saskatchewan. Over 2,400 plus homes and businesses were lost within the… Read more »

By Jorel Torres

The National Weather Service (NWS) has over 120 WFO (Weather Forecast Office) locations across the CONtinental United States (CONUS) where only a certain percentage of these offices produce and display RAwinsonde OBservations (RAOB). RAOB’s are important real-time observations for NWS forecasters where RAOB’s display an atmospheric stability profile, producing atmospheric measurements from the surface to the upper levels… Read more »

By Jorel Torres, Dan Bikos and Lewis Grasso

A majority of National Weather Service (NWS) training is focused on satellite products for the CONtinental United States (CONUS). However, how can satellite products help NWS forecasters with satellite interpretation in Off CONUS locations such as Alaska? One goal is to use synthetic satellite imagery from the operational NAM Alaska Nest to… Read more »

By Jorel Torres and Erin Dagg

The Suomi-National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite is a prototype for the next generation of Joint Polar-Orbiting Satellite System (JPSS) series of satellites with JPSS-1 scheduled to launch in early 2017.  One instrument onboard the Suomi-NPP is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) http://www.jpss.noaa.gov/viirs.html. It has 22 spectral bands that have a variety… Read more »

Cold Air Aloft Product: Arctic

By: Jorel Torres and Jack Dostalek

Introduction

With all of the attention given to the pending winter storm along the East Coast, this blog may seem a bit out of place.  Nevertheless, high-profile blizzards aren’t the only dangerous cold-season weather phenomena of interest to forecasters.

During the winter months, especially at high latitudes, air temperatures at altitudes used by passenger… Read more »

The image shows the state of Colorado, showing the Day/Night Band (DNB) of the Percent Solar Reflectance @ 2017-Z, the day of 12-27-15.

What is noticeable is the different textures between the mid-to-high level clouds (larger white swaths) and the snow on the ground (distinctly shown by the topography of the Rocky Mountains.

Read more »

The CIRA layer precipitable water product from 3-4 December 2015 is shown below:

Blended_LPW

 

Note the black region across South Dakota, Minnesota and portions of Nebraska / Iowa.  There are also black regions in portions of the Rockies and Canada.  Why is data missing over these regions?

The visible… Read more »

This blog entry consists of a youtube video:

The time lapse video discussed above can be seen in its entirety below (courtesy Scott Longmore, CIRA):

This blog entry consists of a youtube video:

This blog entry consists of a youtube video:

To view only the GOES visible loop animation (without recorded audio), see:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/26apr15_vis&number_of_images_to_display=52

On 2 April 2015, severe thunderstorms were forecast by the SPC as summarized in their Day 1 convective outlook graphic:

20150402 1300 UTC Day 1 Outlook Graphic

We will focus on the western edge of the enhanced outlook area which is roughly southeast Kansas, northwest Oklahoma, southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

One of the key ingredients for… Read more »

Typhoon Hagupit

By Kate Musgrave

Typhoon Hagupit in the northern West Pacific basin underwent intensification until reaching a peak intensity of 155 kt at 0000 UTC on 4 Dec 2014 (intensities obtained from Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)). This was a 65 kt increase over the intensity 24 hours previous (90 kt at 0000 UTC on 3 Dec 2014) and marked Typhoon… Read more »

GOES-14 SRSOR for May 20, 2014

This blog entry consists of a youtube video (8 minutes in length):

http://youtu.be/36lR8Y7xvOw

After viewing the video, compare the GOES-14 RSO visible loop that would’ve been as seen on AWIPS:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/20may14_rso&number_of_images_to_display=20

with the SRSOR loop over the same time period (1940 – 2040 UTC) – this is a 194 frame loop so… Read more »

SRSOR on 21 May 2014

This blog entry is available in 2 formats:

1) Youtube video (25 minutes):  http://youtu.be/H6jMoT3sGiw

2) Web format (below):

GOES Super Rapid Scan Operations for Research (SRSOR) 1-minute imagery was available for the severe weather event of 21 May 2014 that affected Colorado and Wyoming:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/140521_rpts.html

At the surface, southeast winds advected moisture… Read more »

GOES-14 Super Rapid Scan Operations (SRSO) was activated for the severe thunderstorm event of May 8, 2014.

This blog entry consists of a youtube video:

http://youtu.be/oHKCIIA95Oo

For access to real-time GOES SRSO (when available) click here:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/dev/lindsey/loops/

A cold air mass was in place over the Great Lakes during 12 December 2013, providing for lake-effect snow across the Great Lakes.  The synthetic imagery from the 4-km NSSL WRF-ARW model initialized 0000 UTC 12 December shows the various lake-effect snowbands (low-level clouds with brightness temperatures that are not that cold relative to high level clouds):

Read more »

By Ken Pryor (NESDIS), Dan Bikos (CIRA) and Scott Lindstrom (CIMSS)

During the early afternoon of 10 June 2013, a cluster of convective storms developed over the front range of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and then tracked eastward over the western High Plains, south and east of Denver.  These storms were shallow, with bases near 20,000 feet and echo… Read more »

This blog entry will make a comparison between synthetic imagery generated from 2 different models, the NSSL WRF-ARW and the NAM-Nest, both with a horizontal grid spacing of 4 km.  After comparing the synthetic imagery between the 2 models, we will compare them to the observed GOES imagery.

The major differences between the 2 models when considering synthetic imagery interpretation… Read more »

The synthetic IR (10.35 um) imagery from the 0000 UTC 5 March 2013 NSSL WRF-ARW run:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/6mar13_syn_wrf&image_width=1020&image_height=900

forecasts a region of colder cloud tops from the Ohio Valley towards the mid-Atlantic states during the late afternoon to morning hours of March 6.  This region of colder cloud tops is associated with an extra-tropical cyclone, so that… Read more »

Transverse bands on February 8, 2013

Transverse bands were observed between approximately 1400-1700 UTC in the vicinity of Buffalo, NY in the GOES water vapor imagery (from the CIMSS satellite blog):

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/130208_g13_wv_east_coast_storm_anim.gif

and also in the GOES IR imagery:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/8feb13_BUF_ir&image_width=1020&image_height=900

Note the orientation of the transverse bands is approximately perpendicular to the winds at upper levels (350 mb… Read more »

An Arctic airmass over the Great Lakes provided for a significant lake-effect snow event off Lake Ontario leading up to January 23, 2013 (maximum snowfall reports 3 feet near the southeast shoreline).  Near the end of this lake-effect snow event, low-level wind speeds decreased as shown in this plot of RTMA surface winds/temperatures along with METARs at 0000 UTC 24… Read more »

During the VISIT Satellite Chat on the morning of December 12, forecasters at the WFO in Columbia, SC alerted us to a fog event that took place in their CWA during the early morning hours of December 3, 2012.  During the discussion we showed different types of imagery and products that might be useful to help diagnose and predict fog,… Read more »

Dan Bikos

This blog entry will examine the synthetic low cloud / fog product produced by the 4-km NSSL WRF-ARW model.  For detailed information on this product, see:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/training/visit/training_sessions/synthetic_imagery_in_forecasting_low_clouds_and_fog/

Let’s examine this product on the Washington and Oregon coastline from October 10, 2012:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=training/visit/loops/10oct12_west_syn_fog&image_width=1020&image_height=900

Recall that low cloud or fog is depicted… Read more »

Super Typhoon Jelawat

Dan Bikos

Typhoon Jelawat developed in the Phillippine Sea of the western Pacific Ocean around September 20, 2012.  See the westernmost track of the figure below:

As the cyclone began turning towards the north / northwest while it was east of the Philippines, it went through… Read more »

Ken Pryor (NESDIS / STAR)

A GOES sounder-derived Microburst Windspeed Potential (MWP) algorithm, based on convective available potential energy (CAPE), and vertical temperature and humidity lapse rates, and based on the vertical difference in equivalent potential temperature (theta-e difference, TED) between the surface and middle-troposphere (between 10,000 and 20,000 feet above ground level) recently observed favorable… Read more »

Louie Grasso and Jeff Braun

Updated June 25, 2012

Now: The Whitewater-Baldy Fire was a very large wildfire that existed over southwestern New Mexico during the last couple of weeks of May and into June 2012.  At nearly 300, 000 acreas in size, it it easily the state’s largest wildfire in modern times.  The High Park fire in northern Colorado… Read more »

On 6 June 2012, GOES-15 SRSO was called, meaning intermittent 1-minute scans would be collected over a mesoscale sector centered in eastern Colorado.  The Storm Prediction Center had a slight risk of severe storms over the region, and by late afternoon convective initiation occurred along the Denver Convergence Zone north and east of Denver.  The loop below shows a sample… Read more »

The severe weather event of March 2, 2012 was forecast well ahead of time by the Storm Prediction Center to be associated with significant severe weather:

An animation of GOES-13 visible imagery can be found here:

http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/templates/loop_directory.asp?data_folder=dev/lindsey/loops/2mar12_vis&image_width=1020&image_height=720

Sufficient clearing took place over… Read more »

Puget Sound Convergence Zone in Action

By J.Braun

An impressive overrunning snow event is on tap for much of western Washington Tuesday, January 17th with bands of snow showers moving inland across northwestern Washington.  The (mainly) snow shower activity has increased in coverage as mid level a disturbance rotates around a… Read more »

The GOES-R Proving Ground serves to demonstrate products that will be available on future satellites that are part of the GOES-R series.  One of the Proving Ground products developed at CIRA is the GOES Snow / Cloud discriminator.

The utility of this product can be shown with the snow event that affected… Read more »

Knowledge of various air masses and low-level convergence boundaries in the pre-storm environment is critical for a severe weather event.  This blog post will examine the various air masses and boundaries associated with the 27 April 2011 tornado outbreak in the southeast.

First, we will examine the GOES 10.7 um infrared (IR) imagery during the overnight to early morning hours… Read more »

This blog entry will consider the synthetic IR imagery from the NSSL 4-km WRF-ARW model for 19 April 2011.  There were many severe weather reports on this day:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/110419_rpts.html

The synthetic IR imagery from the WRF-ARW model from 1200 to 2300 UTC (from the 0000 UTC 19 April 2011 model run) is given here:

Read more »

For this blog entry, we’ll consider applications of the NSSL 4-km WRF-ARW model synthetic imagery towards a severe weather event that occurred on June 22, 2010.  Synthetic imagery is model output that is displayed as though it is satellite imagery.  Analyzing synthetic imagery has an advantage over model output fields in that the feature of interest appears similar to the… Read more »

Synthetic Cloud Top Heights

by Louie Grasso, Dan Lindsey, Jeff Braun

Cloud tops heights, an important forecast parameter, is being generated from the NSSL 4km WRF-ARW real-time run.  At CIRA we have been generating synthetic GOES-R imagery from this real-time model since spring 2010.  Based on information and contact at the 14th Great Divide Workshop in Billings, MT, we have begun to generate cloud top height… Read more »

Jeff Braun and Dan Lindsey NOAA/RAMMB CIRA/CSU

***(Also, please see addendum near the end of this message)

The following are a sequence of GOES-13 visible images from 19:45 UTC on 20 July 2010 to 00:45 UTC on 21 July 2010.

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On 20 July 2010, a United Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft experienced severe turbulence… Read more »

Oil and Water Really Don’t Mix

By J. Braun

Additional information/images from  – Steven Miller, Bernie Connell, Dan Lindsey, and NASA

Tower of Fire and smoke

Figure 1(above).

Eleven crew members of the state of the art floating oil rig… Read more »

Jeff Braun, Louie Grasso and Dan Lindsey

As part of the GOES-R Proving Ground activities, synthetic GOES-R imagery has been produced from model output run at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). This model is being run with horizontal grid spacing of 4 km over the continental United States during the spring of 2010. An automated system was designed at the… Read more »

Jeff Braun and Louie Grasso

Figures 1-4 show Modis images at 3.9, 8.53, 11.02, and 12.03 µm, respectively at 1825 UTC on 6 April 2010. Off the east coast of the United States, two ocean currents are evident in the imagery: The cool, southward flowing, Labrador current and the warm, northerly flowing, Gulf Stream. All… Read more »

Jeff Braun, Louie Grasso and Dan Lindsey

IR

Figure 1: GOES-12 10.7 µm on 10 March 2010 at 2115 UTC. Color table shows enhances temperatures in Celsius.

On the afternoon of 10 March 2010, thunderstorms developed over northeast Texas. These storms moved northeastward into southwest Arkansas. A GOES-12 10.7 µm image at 2115 UTC shows… Read more »

Lake Erie Break-up March 3, 2010 through March 8, 2010

Figure 1: March 3rd through March 8th 2010 (NexSat Project/Naval Research Laboratory)

J. Braun

Whew!  Hints at spring may finally be around the corner.  Cold Arctic winter temperatures through most of the beginning of this… Read more »

J. Braun and Louis Grasso

Fog Product

Figure 1: GOES-11 fog product for 8 UTC 2 March 2010.

Identification of liquid water cloud layers that have temperatures below freezing is important for aviation safety. Brightness temperature differencing two channels may be used to identify liquid water cloud layers. Figure 1 (above)shows the channel difference… Read more »

J. Braun, Louis Grasso and Don Hillger

GOES-R ABI will have the ability to produce imagery at 0.47 µm (blue) and at 0.67 µm (red). Although GOES-R will be unable to produce any images at 0.555 µm (green), color imagery can still be generated with certain techniques. These techniques can be tested… Read more »

Proving Ground: GOES-R ABI color imagery

J. Braun, Louie Grasso and Don Hillger

When GOES-R becomes operational, one new capability that no other GOES satellite has had to date is the ability to produce geostationary color imagery. As a result, satellite detection of pollution and/or thin smoke from wildfires can be detected (where they couldn’t in the past). GOES-R ABI will have the ability to produce… Read more »

J. Braun, Louie Grasso and Dan Lindsey

visible GOES-11

Figure 1: GOES-11 (0.67) µm image for 24 February 2010. (click image for larger view)

GOES-11 has two channels in the window region from which a channel difference can be produced. One channel is centered at 10.7 µm while the second is centered at 12.0… Read more »

J. Braun

GOES-R ABI will have several channels in the window region from which channel difference products can be produced. Four channels, 8.5, 10.35, 11.2, and 12.3 µm can be differenced to produce a total of six difference images. In this example, differences were produced from a numerical simulation of the 27 June 2007 thunderstorm event over Wyoming. Satellite imagery… Read more »

GOES-R Proving Ground At the Great Lakes

Louie Grasso, Dan Lindsey, J. Braun

slide 1 slide 2 slide 3

GOES-R ABI will have several channels in the window region from which channel difference products can be produced. Three of the channels, 8.53, 11.02, and… Read more »

Louie Grasso, Dan Lindsey, J. Braun

Something Wrong Improvement

Synthetic GOES-12 satellite imagery at 3.9 µm has been produced for a thunderstorm simulation. This event occurred on 27 June 2005 over the upper Midwest of the United States. Observations (Figure 1 – click image for larger format) shows warmer… Read more »

Louie Grasso, Dan Lindsey  and J. Braun

GOES-R ABI will have several channels in the window region from which channel difference products can be produced. Four channels, 8.5, 10.35, 11.2, and 12.3 µm can be differenced to produce a total of six difference images. Shown in Fig. 1 is a loop, every five minutes, of one such difference: 10.35… Read more »

SHyMet for Forecasters Development Plan

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Jeff Braun

New Developmet Plan (LMS) available!

This is the forecaster track of the Satellite Hydrology and Meteorology (SHyMet) Course (similar in structure, but exanding on or covering different subjects than the intern version of SHyMet) will cover satellite imagery interpretation, including feature identification, water vapor channels and what to expect on future satellites. There… Read more »

Toward an Advanced Sounder on GOES?

Temperature and Dew Point Profiles

Jeff Braun

New Training Session from COMET!

Satellite imagery and soundings have been an integral tool in the weathercaster tool belt over the past four decades and continue critical support for operational meteorology and monitoring of our ever changing weather patterns. Some products however, particularly those from… Read more »

Ken Pryor (NESDIS)

The VISIT lesson “Forecasting Convective Downburst Potential Using GOES Sounder Derived Products” presents current applications of a suite of GOES sounder-derived products. The lesson has been recently revised to include updated imagery examples, and new case studies of downburst events that occurred over the United States Great Plains during June and August 2009. The cases demonstrated the… Read more »

On 5 May 2009, NESDIS staff at CIRA called for Super Rapid Scan Operations (SRSO) for GOES-11 due to the forecast of severe weather in Texas.  The GOES-11 SRSO activation is in preparation for the VORTEX-II field project so that high temporal resolution satellite imagery is available for this important field project.

During the VORTEX-II field… Read more »

West Texas Windstorm: 8 February 2009

Ken Pryor

A convectively active late winter season over the Great Plains has proven fruitful for the assessment of the GOES-11 imager microburst risk product. During the evening of 8 February 2009, a line of convective storms tracked through eastern New Mexico and western Texas,… Read more »

The VISIT lesson “Forecasting Convective Downburst Potential Using GOES Sounder Derived Products” presents current applications of a suite of GOES sounder-derived products. A recent concern pertaining to the GOES sounder products is the current temporal and spatial resolution (60 minutes, 10 km). The GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) has promising capability as a… Read more »

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The June 2008 copy of The Front” newsletter highlights upcoming changes to the new Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) which is scheduled to go operational this November (2008).  See this site: www.weather.gov/os/aviation/taf_testbed.shtml for more information. 

And speaking of TAFs, want to know just what happens to… Read more »

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(Courtesy NASA/MODIS/TERRA – July 26, 2008)

Jeff Braun

Currently, California has 26 fire incidents…mostly across the northern half of the state.  Fourteen of these fires are considered large at the moment (= or > 100 acres…see following map).

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To date (this fire season – through July… Read more »

Jeff Braun

This is just a brief reminder that it is monsoon/(FLASH) flood season here in Colorado and the rest of the Rocky Mountain West and adjacent High Plains.  While this region is no stranger to flooding conditions…particularly in the late spring and early summer when combined severe weather threats often aggravate the ongoing snow melt, a secondary, and often… Read more »

Jeff Braun

As Hurricane Dolly made its way into southern Texas July 24, 2008 with 100+ mph winds, drenching a 40 mile wide and 100mile long stretch, along and north of the Rio Grande River, with anywhere between 8 and 22 inches of rain, it heralded the true beginning of tropical cyclone season here in the lower 48.  Yes, the “official” season starts on June… Read more »

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(Courtesy NOAA/NWS – July 15, 2008)

Jeff Braun

Strong heating over the elevated (Mexican Plateau) desert southwest CONUS causes an area of low pressure to form known as a thermal low.  Since the air pressure is relatively higher over the nearly adjacent ocean areas (Gulf of California and the Tropical Pacific) to the south and west, air… Read more »

Volcano Season is Year ‘Round

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Jeff Braun

Volcanoes, particularly volcanic ash, are major concerns to many of us in meteorology.  While the physical presence of the mountain and the energy expended during an eruption can be quite enormous, dangerous, and both life and property threating,  the atmospheric discharge of ash can also be a major hazard to aviation as well… Read more »

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Jeff Braun

With the main portion of Tropical Cyclone Season still around the corner (it’s slowly winding up), we thought we’d point you to the next generation of the operational TCFP product at: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/projects/gparm/index.asp.  New features include:

Extended domain: The product has been extended to cover the… Read more »

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(From SPC MCD 1327 – Concerning Tornado Watch #509)

Jeff Braun

Wednesday night, June 11, 2008, at just after 6:30 PM, some 93 boys, ages 13 to 18, along with 25 adult BSA staff members, were fighting for their lives as a deadly tornado roared through the Little Sioux Boy Scout Camp. Four of the… Read more »

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(Image courtesy of Eric Thaler, SOO WFO DEN/BOU.  Data source – NOAA/NWS; Map – FEMA)

Jeff Braun

Thursday, May 22, 2008 was truly a day the will live in infamy for many folks in and around the communities of western Weld County (and north eastern Larimer county), Colorado.  While… Read more »

J. Braun

Here is a paper/discussion presented at this year’s 13th Conference on Aviation, Range, and Aerospace Meteorology by Haig Iskenderian (from MIT) titled, “Cloud-to-Ground Lightning as a Proxy for Nowcasts of VIL and Echo Tops.”  Although geared toward the aviation community, this inforamtion can be valuable to any WFO with forecasting/warning duties in their CWA in which… Read more »

Jeff Braun

Below are some links to, or copies of, some perhaps lesser known meteorological training materials.  Many of these have been born out of Aviation Weather programs either here in the USA through the military Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) or the FAA, or from up north and our Canadian Neighbors.  Although some of the information is based on… Read more »

From NSSL: April 28, 2008

NSSL is hosting the six-week Experimental Warning Program (EWP) Spring Program beginning today, 28 April 2008, in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. The mission of the EWP Spring Program is to evaluate the accuracy and operational utility of new science, technology, and products in a testbed… Read more »

Fires in Russia = Smoke in Minnesota

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Jeff Braun

Many large fires in southern/southeastern Russia have choked the skies with smoke. This image (first image) of the fires (locations outlined in red) was captured… Read more »

newsletter-titles.JPG Jeff Braun

I know it’s a strange title for a meteorological blog…but, really, all too few of you do it.  And, I’m not talking about exercise either.  No, I’m talking about using e-newsletters to promote your (WF) office and to get to know your audience better.

The weather, the forecasters and the… Read more »

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J. Braun

Above is an example of two model forecast runs (12 hours apart).  The main difference comes when looking at the QPF amounts generated over ERN ND and NWRN MN between the two model runs.  The later model run on the right is able to… Read more »

Hawaii, Up Close and Personal

Jeff Braun

Look at the following three images from the TERRA (EOS AM-1) satellite and the plotted image from the QuickSCAT satellite (courtesy NASA TERRA project – http://terra.nasa.gov/) and try to determine: 1. What is going on around the Big Island (first photo – top)? 2. Which side of the islands tend to get more precipitation and… Read more »

This is some great stuff from the CIMSS bunch at the University of Wisconsin.  Read the following message sent March 21, 2008 and click the accompanying link to go to their satellite blog.  

 

“MODIS images showing the extent of river flooding in the central US have been posted on our CIMSS… Read more »

J. Braun

Not to diminish the importance of the entire two day conference, this is just a “good parts,” slightly abridged review and link(s) to information concerning the NWP models from NCEP that we can use.

Progress on Future NCEP Production Suite:” – presented by Steve Lord, the director of the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), diagrams and… Read more »

What Is Going On Here?

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J. Braun

Click here http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/visit/AniS/02261998/Vis_Loop1.html to go to a loop of a group of images from one of our GOES satellites (full disk). The loop is composed of an “enhanced” set of visible images so that dark (near black) stands out as speckled red/blue. As you animate… Read more »

J. Braun

In the latest issue of “The Front” – the National Weather Service’s aviation forecast news e-magazine – an article titled, “The Importance of Climatology in Aviation” shows us why climatology is important not only to the aviation forecaster, but to prospective pilots too.

Click here: http://aviationweather.gov/general/pubs/front/docs/dec-07.pdf for the latest December, 2007 issue.  Also… Read more »

J. Braun

Presented by Don Moore, from the NOAA/NWS WFO in Billings, MT, his presentation titled “Use of Satellite Data at National Weather Service Forecast Offices” has both great foresight and hindsight in the use of GOES data for operational use at the NWS Weather Forecast Offices.

Satellite data, particularly from GOES, has long been an important tool for weather forecasters in… Read more »

J. Braun

Presented by Steven Silberberg, AWC/NCEP, Kansas City, MO – at the 5th GOES Users Conference in January of 2008.

The Aviation Weather Center (AWC) makes extensive use of GOES imagery in its forecast operations. AWC forecast operations include a continuous meteorological watch world-wide for aviation weather such as: cloud type, bases, and tops; low cloud ceilings; supercooled clouds for… Read more »

J. Braun

United Airlines operates flights daily over the top of the world. There are many safety and regulatory requirements which must be taken into consideration when planning these operations. Standard aviation weather analysis no longer covers the many variables that are associated with polar operations and reliance on many other sources of information are now required to ensure safe… Read more »

What Could Have Been…

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(Click for larger view.)

As many of you know (or may not know) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to drop plans for the development of the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES) (aka. the Advanced Baseline Imager/Sounder) for the “next generation” of geostationary weather satellites (GOES-R and Beyond). The common line was that NOAA was not… Read more »

Phenomena along the California coast

Jeff Braun

Various phenomena along the California coastline evident in GOES visible imagery are examined.

The first example is from 26 July 2006.

Click on the 18:00 UTC surface analysis below:

A low over the interior of California exists, where temperatures are hot (90’s). Offshore and to the northwest is a high… Read more »

Tropical Cyclones and Dvorak

J. Braun

Who or what is Dvorak?  A. An opinion/editoralist writer for PC magazine.  B. The man who invented the Dvorak simplified keyboard layout.  C. The largest car sales and rental car companu in the Czech Republic.  D. The man who developed the Dvorak tropical cyclone intensity (classification) system.  E. A Chicago born folk singer/musician.  F. A famous classical music composer.  G. B… Read more »

Great Lakes Phenomenon

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Jeff Braun

What is going on over the eastern Great Lakes Huron, Erie, and Ontario on December 13, 2005?

See loop:

( http://www.cira.colostate.edu/cira/RAMM//picoday/051214/visloop.html ) and data below for additional help.   Clicking on each image below will bring it up the full sized.

sounding_apx12z.gif glsfc_zoom_12z.gifRead more »

Hot, Cold, Moist, Dry…

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Just how many “words” is a picture worth anyway. With only the one image to work with (and very minimal, but important text) see if you can figure out the following.

In the above 10.7 um IR image, what is the “prominent” feature that shows itself from central Kansas south through the western portion of… Read more »

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Reccent Comments

Michael Garrison
There are several other boundaries in the radar loop as well. One southwest to northeast of Hamilton and another from Russellville to the southwest. After talking with the radar operator from that day...if you look at the last frame, the showers west of Columbus eventually develop into the Hackelburg EF5 while the shower northwest of Tuscaloosa becomes the Cullman tornado. Both of which appear to be directly on or within the influence of the convective boundaries.
Kevin Pence
Dan, Thank you for posting your comments and animations regarding this historic tornado outbreak over Alabama. The mesoscale aspects of these systems are always so interesting, especially when gravity waves are involved. Have you seen the undular bore that move out over the western Gulf of Mexico that morning? http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/7905
Dan Bikos
Jon - yes, I was referring to the gravity waves in this event up to early afternoon that did not result in CI, whereas the low-level convergence boundaries did. Gravity waves can definitely play a role in CI, and may have even later in this case but it becomes difficult to discern later in the day as we get anvil cirrus.
Jonathan Case
Nice blog post, Dan! I did want to comment on one of your statements in the post. You mentioned that: "One way to discriminate between gravity waves and low-level convergence boundaries is that convection may develop along the convergence lines while convection does not develop along the gravity waves since they exist at a higher level." Perhaps that was the case with this event, but I believe that gravity waves, whether jet or convective-induced can place a role in subsequent convective initiation. I believe that the 3-4 April 1974 Super Outbreak had numerous gravity waves that may have led to tornadic supercell development. I bet there are other cases, too. Enjoy! Jon
Scott Bachmeier
We have some additional satellite imagery from this turbulence event posted on our CIMSS Satellite Blog: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/6165
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