This morning I observed some rather odd looking streaks in the 10.3 µm imagery in western portions of Texas. Sampling the 10.3 µm data revealed alternating areas of relative warm/cool skin surface temperatures in the cloud free conditions in the area on the upstream side of departing deep convection. The temperature difference in the skin temperatures were around 5 C at this time. The 10.3 µm image below was taken from appox. 1357 UTC this morning (3 May 2018).
Image 1. 10.3 um imagery from GOES-16, 1357 UTC 3 May 2018
Arguably, the streaks of lower temperature values showed up better in the 3.9 µm imagery. Notice the streaks or alternating bands of yellow/orange colors in portions of west Texas.
Image 2. 3.9 um imagery from GOES-16, 1357 UTC 3 May 2018
Realizing these temperature differences were likely due to the recent convective rainfall, I looked up the SPoRT LIS 0-10 cm volumetric soil moisture data, which corresponded nearly perfectly with the streaks of relative lower temperature values (Image 3). So indeed, this was due to the recent heavy, convective rainfall across the area.
Image 3. SPoRT LIS 0-10 cm Volumetric Soil Moisture, 15 UTC 3 May 2018
Below are 89 GHz RGBs (composited) of the three hurricanes affecting the Atlantic basin this morning. Notice a decent eye structure is observable in all of the storms, including Hurricane Katia in the SW Gulf of Mexico. This was noted in the 4 AM CDT discussion about the hurricane from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “Enhanced BD-curve infrared imagery and a GPM microwave composite image indicate improved banding over the western portion of the circulation and the earlier ragged eye presentation has become much more distinct.” SPoRT helped with the implementation of the passive microwave data into the AWIPS platform at the NHC several years ago, which has aided forecasters there with the diagnosis and analysis of these systems.
For the latest, best up-to-date information regarding the hurricanes, please refer to the NHC website.
89 GHz RGBs from the GPM constellation of the three hurricanes affecting the Atlantic Basin this morning. Approximate times for passes over the respective hurricanes are noted in the image.
The NASA SPoRT program has been providing Passive Microwave data to the National Hurricane Center for use in the NWS Automated Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), which allows for data-layering capabilities, and has helped improve the method for tracking center fixes on tropical systems. These data have been provided to the NHC as part of an on-going collaborative effort for several years now. These first two images are 89 GHz RGBs taken over Cat-5 Irma from this morning. Importantly, these data/imagery help forecasters to better analyze the internal hydrometeorological structure of tropical systems over other traditional satellite imagery.
Image 1. 89 GHz image over Cat-5 Hurricane Irma from approx 0548 UTC 7 Sep 2017. Background imagery is SPoRT SSTs from approx 18 UTC 6 Sep 2017.
Image 2. 89 GHz image over Cat-5 Hurricane Irma from approx 1112 UTC 7 Sep 2017. Background image is SPoRT SSTs from approx 18 UTC 6 Sep 2017.
Sea surface temperatures to the west of the system, and ultimately where it will be tracking are on the order of about 85-87 degrees F, according to the SPoRT data. The warmest waters are found generally in the SW portions of the Bahamas.
Lastly, here are the 89 GHz Horizontal and Vertical data/imagery for each of these times, that comprise the RGB.
Image 3. 89 GHz Horizontal image over Cat-5 Hurricane Irma from approx 0548 UTC (left) and 1112 UTC (right) 7 Sep 2017.
Image 4. 89 GHz Vertical image over Cat-5 Hurricane Irma from approx 0548 UTC (left) and 1112 UTC (right) 7 Sep 2017.
Training material now available for use by NWS forecasters via the new AIR tool within AWIPS. This example shows the SPoRT-created Nighttime Microphysics RGB Quick Guide.
NASA SPoRT has been working to get training materials available to NWS forecasters via the new AWIPS Integrated Reference (AIR) tool. This Twitter post and attached video details how NWS forecasters can access the new training material. This training is now available with the current POES RGB imagery, but will also be available once RGB imagery from GOES-16 is available in AWIPS. SPoRT will be working to add new training content within Vlab and accessible via the AIR tool in the coming months.
Today, the GOES-R satellite launched from Kennedy Space Center at approximately 642 EST! As a forecaster, I am very excited about the flow of data and imagery that will be available to us in the near future. Congratulation to all those who have invested so much time and energy into this project.
The GOES-R satellite launches aboard an Atlas-V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center, approx 642 pm EST.
SPoRT would like to thank our collaborators who have worked with us to develop forecasting and other applications for this mission during recent years. And we look forward to continued collaborative projects in the future!
A number of fires have erupted in recent weeks due in part to the drought gripping parts of the Southeast U.S. Especially hard hit are areas in and around the southern Appalachians, extending into central portions of Alabama and Georgia, where D3 (Extreme) to D4 (Exceptional) drought conditions exist, per the latest U.S. Drought Monitor (Image 1).
Image 1. U.S. Drought Monitor for 8 November 2016. Notice the large area of D3-D4 drought gripping parts of the Southeast.
Recently, the fires and some smoke were captured well in Shortwave IR (Image 2) and Day-Night Band imagery (Image 3) produced by the VIIRS instrument onboard the Suomi NPP satellite.
Image 2. Fires appear as small black dots in the Shortwave IR (~3.7 um) imagery taken at 0734 UTC 15 Nov 2016.
Image 3. In this Day-Night Band Radiance RGB, the fires (center of white circles) appear similar to city lights, however smoke plumes are evident with some of the stronger and heavier smoke-producing fires (red ovals), 0734 UTC 15 Nov 2016
Since boundary layer winds tend to shift direction at night with the loss of deep mixing, the Day-Night Band image can be used by forecasters to detect how smoke plumes change direction at night and may help with forecasts of smoke impacts.
So, we’ve finally begun the process of transitioning over fully to the new CONUS version of the SPoRT LIS. This “new” version of the SPoRT LIS has been under development actually for several years now, and underwent initial testing and evaluation at the Huntsville WFO in spring 2015, followed by an evaluation by several WFOs and RFCs in summer 2015. Image 1 below shows the differences in the domains. The new version of the SPoRT LIS encompasses the entire CONUS and surrounding areas of southern Canada and northern Mexico, albeit with some anticipated degradation especially in the border regions due to lack of consistent radar/precipitation coverage.
Image 1. The CONUS SPoRT LIS (left) and the approximate domain of the old Southeast CONUS version (right). Note: the images are from different periods.
Not only does the CONUS version offer a geographic expansion over the previous version of the LIS, but new variables are a part of the new SPoRT LIS, including 0-200 cm relative soil moisture changes on several timescales (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, seasonal, semi-annual and annual) soil moisture percentiles and soil temperatures. The soil moisture percentiles and change values can be especially useful for the drought designation and analysis process, and have been used in this capacity at the Huntsville office since their inception. Of course, there are other applications for hydrology, fire weather and blowing dust. We’re planning to explore more of these latter unique and interesting applications with several of SPoRT’s collaborative Western CONUS WFOs next spring and summer. The SPoRT LIS soil temperature data have shown promising application for impacts during winter weather events during evaluation of a few events in the previous winter, with more evaluation expected during the upcoming winter. In addition to the new variables, the new version of the SPoRT LIS is using NSSL’s Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor data for precipitation forcing in the near term and is also solely incorporating the VIIRS GVF over the legacy MODIS GVF.
Image 2. Examples of SPoRT LIS 0-200 cm relative soil moisture weekly change (left) and 0-200 cm relative soil moisture percentile (right)
Users of the SPoRT LIS and GVF data for their local modeling purposes will need to make the appropriate changes to their EMS/UEMS model runs to properly incorporate these new data sets. Please contact Jon Case at SPoRT or me (Kris White) if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!