MODIS-VIIRS 11micron Inversion Detection

The 1km MODIS-VIIRS 11micron product valid 0932UTC January 6, 2013 showed very high resolution temperature inversion patterns across northern NM and southern CO.  The 11micron product is overlaid with the surface observation network across the area on the graphicast example below.   High resolution details are captured well by the temperature observation network…including a well defined warm region where Ute Mountain sits within the San Luis Valley south of Alamosa.  Minimum temperatures are ingested into GFE to provide fine resolution details for the following nights forecast in persistence.  The black outlines in the temperature grid are public zone boundaries which capture the general topography quite well and focus where colder valley temperatures would occur.  The maximum temperature forecast also captures these strong inversion effects where weak mixing forces high temperatures to be warmer over mid slope areas than in valley areas.  While no major operational impact outside of improved high temperature forecasts is expected, it would be interesting to see how the extent of the cold pool over southern CO impacts the strength of drainage winds in the Rio Grande Valley for airport locations from Taos south to Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Graphicast depiction of temperature inversions detected by MODIS-VIIRS 1km 11micron product.

Graphicast depiction of temperature inversions detected by MODIS-VIIRS 1km 11micron product.

Minimum Temperature Grid January 6, 2013

Minimum Temperature Grid January 6, 2013

Maximum Temperature Forecast January 6, 2013

Maximum Temperature Forecast January 6, 2013

5 thoughts on “MODIS-VIIRS 11micron Inversion Detection

  1. Brian,
    Very interesting imagery in this post. I assume that the entire image is cloud free, right? Perhaps a different enhancement to the imagery could be created for the cloud free events and users could apply it as needed. This may bring out more detail of the temperature range than the IR enhancement intended for a large range of cloud top temperature values. Again, a very interesting read.
    Kevin Fuell

    • Yes, that would be very interesting indeed. I wonder if a public utility company would find the product useful on a qualitative basis for analyzing power usage during the extreme events.

  2. On the CIMSS Satellite Blog, I applied a specifically-tailored “cold surface temperature” IR enhancement to a similar cloud-free VIIRS IR image of that same region on 03 January: The cold San Luis Valley really stands out! I’d like to make one point of clarification though: VIIRS and MODIS are two different instruments, flying on different polar-orbiting satellites (MODIS on the Terra and Aqua satellites, and VIIRS on the Suomi NPP satellite).

    • Thanks for the reply Scott. The MODIS-VIIRS is simply the naming convention on the product ingested into the AWIPS system since we are looking at a mosaic of the MODIS and VIIRS images. I did not check the passes at the time of that image to see if it was produced by MODIS or VIIRS. Thanks again. Brian

  3. Scott,
    Thank you for the contribution; I found it very interesting. The cold pools that form in the upper valleys or even along the front range are an item that forecasters would like to monitor. I wonder if there is some derived product or enhancement that could separate the clouds from these cold pools and allow satellite users to better monitor the changes in these cold pools, both day and night.

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