Use of VIIRS Nightime Microphysics RGB


09-October 2013, 10-12 UTC.  Surface high pressure forced a weak and shallow upslope flow along the Rocky Mountain Front. Radar (not shown) indicated rain or snow showers over northern Lewis & Clark, and western Teton Counties.  Aloft, southwest flow carried broken altostratus across the region. ASOS reports unrestricted visibility, but lowering ceilings, with temperatures in the mid 30s. Traditional GOES IR image (below)  shows these low to mid-level clouds along the Rocky Mountain Front and over portions of southwest MT, with brightness temperatures indicated around -15 to  -20 C.


The following image shows the 12Z sounding from Great Falls. Notice the saturated boundary layer with northeast winds extending from just above the surface to near the freezing level (6300 feet MSL) near 800 mb. Just above at around 700 mb there appears another shallow near saturated layer, and plenty of moisture aloft above 550 mb. From the ground, I observed…

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