The early morning overpasses of the NASA Aqua Satellite and NASA/NOAA Suomi-NPP Satellite both captured the progress of extratropical cyclone (nee Hurricane) Sandy as it moved across Pennsylvania. SPoRT blends data from the Suomi-NPP Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) with data from the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) to produce the Air Mass RGB product because of water vapor and ozone channels missing from VIIRS. SPoRT also produces the same imagery from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which contains all of necessary channels for product development. These data are made available to the NWS/NCEP in their NAWIPS decision support system and are available in KML format for display in Google Earth.
Below are two images taken less than 30 minutes apart from the two satellites. On top is the CrIS/VIIRS Air Mass RGB image taken at 0728 UTC on October 30. The bottom image is the MODIS Air Mass RGB image taken at 0751 UTC on October 30. While the CrIS/VIIRS image is at slightly lower resolution due to effects from the larger CrIS footprint, the imagery is quite useful in identifying all of the atmospheric features. Both images captured the location and structure of the storm system’s cloudy areas. Also, both images captured the green-shaded moist air over the midwest and Great Lakes and the dry air that was being wrapped into the Northeastern side of the storm.
The blended CrIS/VIIRS RGB image is a great example of the type of exciting product that we can expect from the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) in the future in support of operational weather forecasting.