Monitoring Cloud Cover with the Snow/Cloud RGB

It’s always challenging to determine how rapidly clearing will occur in the winter season, but some snow cover added to the difficulty on Sunday.  It looked like there might be some clearing on GOES visible imagery over the Ohio Valley, but even when looping, it was tough to tell for sure.

GOES Visible Imagery valid 1815 UTC 15 December

GOES Visible Imagery valid 1815 UTC 15 December

To validate this, we leveraged the MODIS snow/cloud RGB image (formerly known as “false color”) from SPoRT’s website, which nicely illustrated the clearing.

Snow/Cloud RGB valid 1658 UTC 15 December

Snow/Cloud RGB valid 1658 UTC 15 December

While those specific breaks did not affect northern Alabama and southern middle Tennessee, it helped to validate a mental model of where clearing was occurring (along with an upper trough axis), improving the sky cover forecast for Sunday evening.

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