last updated 24 June 2010
Table of Contents
- More Nor'easter Floods (30 MB MP4) 21-31 March 2010.
Following the Nor'easter conglomeration of storms in the first half of March, a parade of 3 large storms flooded the upper Midwest and Northeast in the second half of March.
The normal 3-day repeat pattern of spring storms was provided by the prevailing westerly winds.
- Nor'easter Floods (25 MB MP4) 08-16 March 2010.
Following the Nor'easter parade of blizzards in February, another week-long parade of storms flooded the upper Midwest and Northeast in March.
The merge of three storms in the Midwest was unusual, where the normal pattern is a series of spring storms carried by the prevailing westerlies.
- Nor'easter Blizzards (55 MB MP4) 01-16 February 2010.
During the first two weeks of February 2010, the GOES-12 weather satellite observed a record-setting series of "Nor'easter" snow storms which blanketed the mid-Atlantic coast.
Heavy, wet snows semi-paralyzed Washington DC (which normally averages only 16 inches of snow per year): 5 inches on February 3rd, 24 inches on the 6th, and 12 inches on the 10th.
Another storm followed on February 16th that dumped 10 inches on Philadelphia/New York, but spared Washington/Baltimore.
These storms are called "Nor'easters" because the counter-clockwise circulation around a low pressure system on the Atlantic coast pushes moist sea air from the north-east into arctic air over the land.
This mixture creates a very efficient snow-making machine from Boston to Washington DC.
The GOES movie illustrates how a parade of succeeding storms form along the Gulf coast, travel up the Atlantic coast, pause over the mid-Atlantic states, and finally slide out to sea.
This movie was created by overlaying the clouds observed several times per hour by NOAA's GOES Imager onto a true-color map previously derived from NASA's MODIS land-mapping instrument.
The infrared channels on GOES detect clouds day and night, which are portrayed as grey for low clouds and white for high clouds. During the day, the visible channel on GOES adds shadow-texture to the clouds and illuminates the snow on the ground.
The movie compresses 16 days into 2 minutes. It illustrates how continental-scale land/sea/air phenomena come together to make large winter storms.
NOAA's ground/space-based observing system and numerical weather models did an excellent job of accurately forecasting the location and depth of each East Coast blizzard in this series.
- Cold to Cuba (6.9 MB MOV) 10 January 2010.
A massive cold air outbreak overflows the deep South, Florida, Cuba and Jamacia.
- Off-shore wind (0.1 MB JPG) at 1400 UTC on 5 January 2010.
A large high-pressure ridge over the USA east of the Rockies floods the surrounding ocean with very cold air, clearing out clouds over the water near the shoreline.
- Snowy Mid-Atlantic (0.2 MB JPG) at 1745 UTC on 23 December 2009.
The snowfall pattern after the blizzard of 2009 is very clear in this image of GOES clouds painted over a true-color MODIS background appropriate to the date.
- December blizzard (8.4 MB MOV) 19 December 2009.
A well-forecast "Alberta clipper" traveled up the East Coast, setting all-time records for snowfall (16 to 24 inches) in December throughout the mid-Atlantic states, and closing Washington DC for 3 days.
- Bas-relief winter clouds (0.5 MB JPG) at 1445 UTC on 9 December 2009.
The low-angle of the morning winter sun on the East Coast throws several layers of clouds into high relief.
- South Atlantic sunglint (0.1 MB JPG) at 0845 UTC on 2 December 2009.
A remarkably large area of the southern ocean is smooth and reflective.
- HDTV movies of hurricane alley in 2009 (GB's of H.264) June-November 2009.
These are large, long , high-resolution, colorful, digital movies suitable for production work.
- 2009 Hurricane High-Lights (31 MB MP4) August-November 2009.
This is a browser-compatible, miniature version (half-size, double speed, mid-season, 31 MB, MP4 movie with a sound track) of the production model movies mentioned in the previous entry.
- Hurricane Ida (0.3 MB JPG) at 1445 UTC on 8 November 2009.
After wracking Central America, the late-season storm threaded the strait between Yucatan and Cuba to pick up more power from the warm sea water.
- Sunglint from the tropics (1.2 MB JPG) at 2345 UTC on 15 October 2009.
GOES-EAST sees a vast area of reflected sunlight from the becalmed central Pacific.
- Good 09-09-09 morning, Hurricane Fred! (0.3 MB JPG) at 0845 UTC on 9 September 2009.
This year, hurricanes spun up much farther east than usual in hurricane alley.
- Hurricane Bill offshore (8.7 MB MP4) 21-23 August 2009.
Two to four images per hour of the USA East Coast illustrate the 3-day passage of Hurricane Bill.
- Hurricane Bill crosses the Atlantic (12.4 MB MP4) 15-23 August 2009.
The wide-field operational scans by GOES-12 of the north Atlantic illustrate the 8-day growth and path of Hurricane Bill.
- Hurricane Bill in the mid-Atlantic (1.2 MB JPG) at 2045 UTC on 19 August 2009.
The storm only made waves far from land.
- Thunderstorms rip the Midwest (5.9 MB QT) 14 May 2009.
The atmosphere rips open at sunset along a large front across the Midwest, and dissipates by dawn.
- Week-long full-disk movie (22 MB QT) 30 March to 6 April, 2009.
Full-disk images from GOES-EAST come at 3-hour intervals, and skip local midnight (0545 UTC), when the satellite stops imaging for lack of solar power.
- GOES-12 thruster jiggle (2.3 MB QT) at 0615 UTC on 25 February 2009.
The small liquid-fueled rockets used for orbit-adjustments on the aging satellite leak occasionally, jiggling the imagery. The satellite automatically recovers Earth-pointing (attitude) within an hour for small leaks like this one, but cloud-motion winds are not accurate for several hours.
- Canadian air mass (0.1 MB JPG) at 1431 UTC on 15 January 2009.
A wide-spread outbreak of arctic air, the coldest in a decade, blankets the upper US. The infrared appearance of the cold surface is rendered white, like a cloud top.
- GOES 13-->12 movie (3.2 MB QT) 5 January 2009.
During the 2008 year-end holidays, GOES-12 (as GOES-EAST at 75W) developed a thruster leak that prevented stable imaging, so GOES-13 (a spare satellite at 105W) was turned on and operated to provide weather images of the US east coast from its mid-USA viewpoint.
At 1500 UTC on 5 January 2009, GOES-12 resumed operational imaging from its eastern viewpoint.
In the GSFC server movie for 5 January, the underlying map does not catch up to the change in viewpoint until 0015 UTC on the following day.
- Tri-cyclone movie (12.1 MB QT) 5-7 November 2008.
Three quite different storms developed simultaneously during the first week of November: hurricane Paloma in the Caribbean, a nor'easter along the mid-Atlantic coast, and a blizzard in the Dakotas (which dropped 3 feet of snow in 80 mph wind gusts).
- Warm reservoirs at night (0.1 MB JPG) at 0125 UTC on 29 October 2008.
An un-forecast cold air outbreak, which shut down the World Series on the previous day with icy rain in Philadelphia, created a clear air dome that allows the many warm reserviors in the central USA to "shine" through at night.
- HDTV movies of hurricane alley in 2008 (GB's of H.264) May-November 2008.
These are large, long , high-resolution, colorful, digital movies suitable for production work.
- 2008 Hurricane High-Lights (21 MB MP4) July-September 2008.
This is a browser-compatible, miniature version (half-size, double speed, mid-season, 21 MB, MP4 movie with a sound track) of the production model movies mentioned in the previous entry.
- Full disk water vapor during Hurricane Ike (3.2 MB MP4) 7-14 September 2008.
The upper-air water vapor channel shows the flow of the atmosphere at the altitude of the jet streams, which appear as dark (warm) streaks. The deep-layer winds derived from motion in these images are used to forecast hurricane tracks.
- Hurricane Ike movie (11.7 MB MP4) 6-14 September 2008.
Hurricane Ike spent 3 days thrashing Cuba before moving on to do the same to Texas.
Total damage cost estimate for Ike is $29.5 billion.
- Hurricane Alley movie (8.3 MB MP4) 23 August - 14 September 2008.
Twice-per-hour GOES images of the northern hemisphere illustrate the march of hurricanes in the easterly trade winds in the the sub-tropics, around the Bermuda high, into the westerly jet streams of the mid-latitudes.
The movie starts with Hurricane Fran in northern Florida, and follows Gustav into Louisiana, follows Hanna up the East Coast, and then Ike into Texas.
The digital movie is compressed to 1% of the size of the original images.
- Hurricane Ike, the poster (14.1 MB JPG) at 1747 UTC on 13 September 2008.
This high-resolution full-disk image of GOES clouds over a MODIS true-color background is designed to be printed on a square yard/meter poster.
- Hurricane Ike over Houston (2.0 MB JPG) at 1445 UTC on 13 September 2008.
This full disk GOES image of clouds is superimposed on a MODIS true-color background map.
The storm was category 2 over Galveston and category 1 over Houston, Texas.
- Hurricane Ike offshore (0.7 MB GIF) at 1325 UTC on 12 September 2008.
While moving very slowly from Cuba to Texas, the storm grew to fill the Gulf, raising a storm surge that threatened to flood the Texas coast.
- Hurricanes Fay, Gustav and Hanna (12.7 MB MP4) 25 August - 2 September 2008.
Hurricane Gustav threatened to become another Katrina, but settled out of the medals.
- Hurricane Gustav (3.2 MB GIF) at 2045 UTC on 31 August 2008.
As sunset approaches, the storm is headed for Louisiana, just west of New Orleans.
- Hurricane alley, 08-08 (1.3 MB JPG) 29 August 2008 at 1745 UTC.
The GOES-12 noon time full disk image at the end of August reveals a chain of storms moving eastward from Africa to the Gulf, lead by Hurricane Gustav.
- Fay floods Florida (16.5 MB MP4) 17-25 August 2008.
While the tropical storm only briefly achieved hurricane-speed winds, its week-long meander over Florida dropped 2 to 3 feet of rain, and set a record for achieving 4 landfalls during its tenure.
- Hurricane Dolly (2.1 MB QT) 21-23 July 2008, at hourly intervals.
The storm stalled for a day in the warm, shallow coastal waters of southern Texas, allowing it to strengthen from a category 1 hurricane (75 mph) to a category 2 (100 mph), before coming ashore.
- Bertha brushes Bermuda (6.7 MB MP4) 8-20 July 2008.
Bertha became a named storm on 3 July 2008, near Cape Verde at 15 N. By 8 July (the beginning of this movie), it was hurricane strength. Bertha was predicted to pass east of Bermuda and quickly dissipate. Bertha did stay east of Bermuda, but lived for over a week as a "cut-off low" that rejuvenated in mid-ocean and headed off towards northern Europe, last seen on 20 July at 50 N.
- Hurricane Bertha (1.2 MB JPG) at 1145 UTC on 7 July 2008.
The first hurricane of the 2008 season spins serenely in mid-Atlantic, while hurricane-wannabes explode throughout the Guatemala Basin.
- Smoky Atlantic (0.1 MB JPG) at 2245 UTC on 12 June 2008.
Smoke from wildfires in coastal North Carolina waft out into the Atlantic, most of the way to Bermuda.
- Stormy Midwest (43 MB QT) 3-11 June 2008.
Day after day, a high pressure system over the East Coast pushed humid air northward out of the Gulf of Mexico into the Midwest, where it was heated by the sun and converted into afternoon/overnight thunderstorms and tornados that flooded the nation's midsection.
- Gravity wave clouds (4.3 MB QT)on 22 May 2008.
Northwest winds across the Great Lakes pick up moisture and form clouds downwind across the mid-Atlantic Appalachian mountains. The low-level clouds in the mountain valleys and over the piedmont are due to gravity waves, which are the bounce of the flowing atmosphere that makes clouds condense at the top of each bounce, creating a series of fixed-location ripples.
- Rope-like cloud (0.1 MB JPG) at 1331 UTC on 12 May 2008.
A single, long, thin cloud from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico to mid-Atlantic delineates the boundary between a large fair-weather air mass over eastern North America and the subtropics.
- Chaiten volcanic ash, Chile (3.5 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 9 May 2008.
The volcano has been active for a week, and is pumping volcanic ash to the bottom of the stratosphere, where it drifts across Argentina and up the coast to Brazil.
- Suffolk VA Twisters (2.9 MB QT) 28 April 2008.
A small V-shaped storm sprang up in the southern Virginia piedmont and spawned tornados that ripped apart an entire suburban town at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
- Cold air outbreak (1.4 MB JPG) at 1445 UTC on 18 March 2008.
A late-winter jet stream can be seen looping across the northern hemisphere in this GOES-EAST vis-ir composite cloud image overlaid on a MODIS true-color background.
The jet loops out of the Pacific into northern California, down across the southwest to pick up Gulf moisture and pump it into midwest storms, then down across the Bahamas, up near Greenland, and finally down to Portugal.
The outbreak of Canadian air over the Sargasso Sea extracts a vast amount of moist heat from the Gulf Stream, generating millions of square miles of curdled convective clouds.
- Rippling winter clouds (1.4 MB JPG) at 2145 UTC on 26 February 2008.
A late winter snow/ice storm kicks up a skien of cloud top waves as it hits the Appalachian Mountains.
- February Twisters (7.4 MB QT) 05-06 February 2008.
Once again, blizzard conditions in the upper Mississippi valley and record high temperatures over the central east coast create a violet frontal zone, spawning the deadliest outbreak in 20 years (56 dead, hundreds of tornados) from Alabama to Tennessee, with maximum destruction during the late evening in east-central Tennessee, particularly Macon County, with 14 dead.
This was the second time that Union University in Jackson TN was struck in the last few years.
- January Twisters (8.6 MB QT) 07-09 January 2008.
Blizzard conditions in the West and record high temperatures in the East created a zone of high winds and violent weather in the Midwest, spawning very rare mid-winter tornados from Springfield, Missouri to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Erie-to-Chesapeake Snow (150 kB JPG) at 1730 UTC on 3 January 2008.
This is a demonstration of a northwest winter wind picking moisture up off Lake Erie and depositing it downwind as snow as far way as the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
- Winter chills the waters (140 kB JPG) 1915 UTC on 2 January 2008.
Early in winter, the outflow of arctic air from the North American continent sweeps up vast amounts of moist air from the warm waters in the Great Lakes and coastal oceans. The flow has a natural roll instability that creates "streets" of low clouds pointing downwind.
- Hurricane Dean blows by Jamaica (4.2 MB QT) on 18-20 August 2007.
- Smoke-filled Gulf (0.2 MB JPG) at 1215 UTC on 14 May 2007.
After a week of wild fires along the Georgia-Florida border, smoke has filled the entire Gulf of Mexico.
- Smokin' Florida (0.6 MB GIF) at 1245 UTC on 11 May 2007.
After subtropical storm Andrea failed to quench large wildfires along the Georgia-Florida border, the counter-clockwise circulation around the depression over the Gulf Stream drew smoke southward. At the tip of Florida, the smoke stream split into two parts, one continuing eastward around the storm, with the other part headed westward around a high pressure region over the Gulf Coast states. The nearly horizontal sunlight at dawn highlights the smokey pall.
- Greensburg tornado (4.6 MB KMZ) 4-5 May 2007.
8 people were killed and the entire town of 1,500 people living in Greensburg, Kansas, was leveled by a mile-wide F5 tornado late evening, local time.
The routine GOES-12 infrared images display the storm cloud bubbling violently as it passes over the town in the animated Google Earth "kmz" overlay file. Low cloud top temperatures (overshooting cloud tops) are colored dark red in the animation. Unfortunately, the 4 km pixel resolution of the GOES infrared images cannot resolve the tornado itself. It is interesting to zoom into Google Earth to see the archival view of the town, and then zoom back to see the much larger scale of the storm and run the animation. Goggle Earth freeware has to be installed on your computer to view this movie. The animation control is a slider in the upper right corner of the Google Earth window.
- Eagle Pass tornado outbreak (10.1 MB QT) 24-25 April 2007.
10 people were killed and 83 were hurt were killed in Eagle Pass, Texas, on the Rio Grande at 7 pm local time (0000 UTC on the movie clock).
It was part of a larger weather system that dumped 2 feet of snow in Colorado and produced heavy rain that flooded parts of Nebraska.
The storm also produced nearly 24 reported tornadoes in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, according to NOAA.
- Spring comes to Hudson's Bay (9.4 MB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 4 April 2007.
A full-resolution visible image of the upper northern hemisphere on a clear day reveals the ghostly outline of Hudson's Bay marked by melting ice bounded by a snow-covered landscape.
Greenland and the Pacific Cascades provide "bookends" at the east and west limbs of this large full-disk image.
- Crossing jet streams over the Gulf coast(4.8 MB QT) on 28 February 2007.
The clouds over Texas/Oklahoma trace the dangerous pattern of warm low level moisture streaming northward from the Gulf, under a cold jet streaming eastward. The crossing pattern twists thunderstorms as they surge upward, sometimes generating tornados, as occurred later over Mississippi and Alabama.
- Lake Effect Snow (248 kB JPG) 8 February 2007.
Weeks of steady arctic winds across the Great Lakes piled up snow along the south and eastern shorelines, particularly in upper New York state, which had over 6 feet of snow.
- Huge solar flares during solar minimum (13 kB GIF) 13 & 15 December 2006.
The total x-ray flux from the Sun is monitored by the XRS instrument on GOES-12. In December, the flux frequently was several thousand times higher than normal, events which are rare even during solar maximum.
- Midwest blizzards (150 kB JPG) at 1745 UTC on 7 December 2006.
This GOES-EAST midday image shows the first lake-effect snows of this winter dumping onto Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, with a foot of snow expected in Cleveland. In addition, the snowfall from the blizzard of the previous weekend in the midwest shows up as a broad streak from Oklahoma to Wisconsin. That storm, the first of the winter, also dumped over a foot of snow, seriously disrupted national air traffic, left thousands without power for days, and killed at least 10 people -- death and destruction comparable to that done by an average hurricane.
- East Coast "thundercane" (8.0 MB QT) 15-17 November 2006.
A powerful autumnal front streamed wind and water up the east coast, spawning tornados and floods, and killing 12 -- death and destruction comparable to that done by an average hurricane.
- Atlantic coast storm spin-up (7.1 MB QT) on 12-14 November 2006.
The autumnal storm vividly illustrates the conditions for the sudden formation of a wet, windy storm over the Carolinas that dumps along the mid-Atlantic coast and New England.
The driving power is an "Alberta clipper": a high-level jet streak that loops from central Canada down across the midwest around a cold air mass, and then zips back up the east coast, passing over a low-level jet of moist air blowing north along the east coast, supplied by the Gulf Stream.
In mid-winter, this same crossing pattern results in a paralyzing east coast blizzard.
- Another ropelike cloud (125 kB JPG) at 2231 UTC on 28 October 2006.
- Ropelike cloud (110 kB JPG) at 0131 UTC on 19 September 2006.
Once in a while, the fall weather creates a very long, thin cloud, like this one that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada, just ahead of a continental air mass.
- Shuttle blast-off (0.6 MB QT) at 1500 UTC on 9 September 2006.
The rocket plume from NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis appears between the 1445 and 1515 UTC frames.
It can be seen wind-shredding and dissipating over the next 2 hours.
- Mid-summer Moon (352 kB GIF) at 2045 UTC on 14 July 2006.
Viewed from GOES, the Moon's orbit brings it around to nearly behind the Earth for a few days twice per month, so it appears in the full disk frame a few times per year. NOAA could use the Moon to calibrate the GOES visible, but they don't.
- Messy summer weather (128 kB JPG) at 2345 UTC on 9 July 2006.
Late afternoon thunderstorms cover eastern North America in several loosely organized weather systems from Canada to Mexico.
- Smokey summer sunset (126 kB JPG) at 0015 UTC on 7 July 2006.
Smoke from widespread wildfires in east-central Canada is carried down over the midwestern USA by a dip in the jet stream. The haze is best observed from GOES when there is nearly horizontal sunlight in the hours before sunset.
- Mid-Atlantic monsoon (12 MB QT), 24-28 June 2006.
A stalled cold front along the Appalachains combinined with a strong low-level jet from the steamy Gulf combined to create a monsoon-like rainfall along the mid-Atantic coast for several days.
For example, 10 inches of rain fell in the Washington DC area, flooding thousands of residents' homes and semi-paralyzing the capital city with flooded throroughfares and dead traffic lights.
- Colorful summer solstice (2.8 MB JPG) at 1745 UTC on 21 June 2006.
GOES-EAST took a full-disk image of the Earth during sub-satellite noon (1745 UTC) on the 2006 summer solstice. The picture is composed of data from visible and infrared channels placed in color layers of a digital image. Yellow clouds correspond to bright, low (warm) layers, such as the marine stratus west of the Americas. Blue-green clouds are dark, high (cold) layers, such as the great winter storm tops in the southern hemisphere. White clouds are both high (cold) and well illuminated by the sun, such as the midday thunderstorms over the tropics. The blue tint of the oceans and the brown tint of the continents result from the differences in temperature and reflectance from water and land. The colorful result illustrates the wide range of weather and climate that occurs simultaneously over the globe.
- Rainstorm floods Huston (2.8 MB JPG) 19 June 2006.
The visible and infrared channels on GOES-12 were combined to make a false-color image of the full disk around local noon in the central USA. The image shows an isolated storm on the Texas coast that dropped 11 inches of rain on Huston, seriously flooding the city. The color scheme is described in the summer solstice image.
- Midwest storm floods New England (12 MB QT) 14 May 2006.
A very large low lingered over the Great Lakes for a week, drawing oceanic moisture over New England, causing the worst flooding in 70 years.
- 52 Tornados in 24 Hours (5.3 MB QT) 8 April 2006.
There were 52 tornadoes reported in the southeastern USA in 24 hours, more than 515 hail storms and more than 160 reports of wind damage, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The death toll in Tennessee from severe weather came to 12.
- Midwest Tornado Outbreak (5.4 MB QT) 12 March 2006.
On the evenings of March 11-12 and 12-13, over 100 tornados were sighted in the upper Midwest, principally in Missouri, with 7 people killed in 4 states. In two cases, people were killed trying to escape a tornado, instead of staying under cover at home.
- Lake-Effect Snow Fields (1.6 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 7 March 2006.
Vast snow fields across the upper midwest and southeastern Canada were the result of over one week of sub-arctic winds driving across the Great Lakes.
- Mid-Atlantic snowfall (0.6 MB GIF) at 1400 UTC on 13 February 2006.
After a record-setting nor'easter blizzard dropped 1 to 2 feet of snow from Maryland to Connecticut, the next day dawned clear enough to see the fresh snowbelt along the mid-Atlantic states.
- Hurricane Epsilon in mid-Atlantic (1.5 MB JPG) at 1445 UTC on 4 December2005.
This storm drifted back-and-forth in mid-Atlantic with category 1 intensity for days in December, after the official hurricane season ended in November.
- Hurricane Beta in Nicaragua (1.5 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 30 October 2005.
The 2005 hurricane season sets a record for the most named storms; NOAA resorts to using the greek alphabet to name the ones after Wilma.
- Double-eyed Hurricane Wilma (0.1 MB JPG) at 0102 UTC on 25 October 2005.
After crossing Florida, the eye is split by a spiral rainband, as can be seen in the previous movie.
- A week of Hurricane Wilma (51 MB QT) 18-24 October 2005.
The hurricane defied all intensity forecasts, growing to the strongest hurricane on record while in the Caribbean, spending days at category 3 strength over the Yucatan, and then rushing at category 3 strength across south Florida, never closing its eye.
The total damage cost estimate for Wilma was $21 billion.
- Hurricane Wilma eyes Cozumel Island (4.1 MB QT) on 21 October 2005.
The huge eye of the full-power storm moves slowly over the popular tourist island off the Yucatan coast. It is rare to have a hurricane eye over a populated area, because the eyewall collapses when it comes on shore, so only islanders get this "treat".
- Hurricane Wilma has a tiny eye (1.1 MB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 19 October 2005.
The warm waters of the Caribbean energize yet another category 5 hurricane, even though the eye is remakably small.
- Hurricane Vince and a big brother (1.0 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 9 October 2005.
Vince is a small category 1 hurricane that formed in the eastern Atlantic and is now approaching the Iberian peninsula.
Meanwhile, a gigantic low-pressure circulation is slowly spinning up in the mid-Atlantic.
- Santa Ana volcano (0.6 MB QT) on 1 October 2005.
The GOES-12 visible band captures the sudden appearance of a large, explosive volcanic ash cloud in northwestern El Salvador at 1445 UTC, after which the cloud blows rapidly out over the Pacific.
- Hurricane Rita movie (14 MB QT) 19-24 September 2005.
Like hurricane Katrina, the storm first organizes itself out of a group of thunderstorms in the Bahamas, tears across south Florida, grows raidly in the very warm waters of the Gulf to category 5, and threatens havoc to the Gulf coast.
Fortunately, this hurricane veers to the east of the high-population cities on the coast. It spares Galveston and Huston, and comes ashore along the sparsely populated border betwen Texas and Lousiana.
This movie is made using visible and infrared cloud images from NOAA's GOES-12 satellite, overlaid on a color-coded map from NASA's Landsat.
- Super-rapid eye of Hurricane Rita movie (2.9 MB QT) 23 September 2005.
GOES-12 took two series of super-rapid scans of hurricane Rita (bursts of 8 images at 1-minute intervals), illustrated in this brief high-resolution movie of the hurricane's eye swirling in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Super-rapid Hurricane Rita movie (5.2 MB QT) 23 September 2005.
GOES-12 took two series of super-rapid scans of hurricane Rita (bursts of 8 images at 1-minute intervals), illustrated in this brief medium-resolution movie of the hurricane swirling in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Enhanced Hurricane Rita day-night movie (31 MB QT) 19-23 September 2005.
Cloud images from NOAA's GOES-12 satellite are overlaid on a NASA MODIS true-color map of the USA for 4 days, with urban areas indicated from a map of light-at-night, and the MODIS scene is darkened for the night time images.
- Enhanced Hurricane Rita color movie (36 MB QT) 19-23 September 2005.
Cloud images from NOAA's GOES-12 satellite are a tranlucent overlay on a NASA MODIS true-color map of the USA for 4 days.
Hurricane Rita caused $12 billion in damage.
- Enhanced hurricane Rita in the Gulf (1.6 MB JPG) 23 September 2005.
As the storm approaches the Texas coast, the visible cloud image from NOAA's GOES-12 has been enhanced and overlaid on a large true-color background from NASA's MODIS land imager for all of eastern North America.
- Enhanced hurricane Rita in the Gulf (1.0 MB JPG) 22 September 2005.
While the storm is mid-Gulf, the visible cloud image from NOAA's GOES-12 has been enhanced and overlaid on a large true-color background from NASA's MODIS land imager for all of eastern North America.
- Hurricane Rita in the Gulf (2.2 MB GIF) at 2145 UTC on 21 September 2005.
Another hurricane grows to category 5 intensity over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, headed towards the Texas shore.
- Hurricane Ophelia movie (10 MB QT) 6-16 September 2005.
This storm dithered between being classified as a tropical storm and a category 1 hurricane, first along the east coast of Florida, and then drifting back to the Carolina coast. The 10 day duration was due to being trapped south of a standing loop in the jet stream, leaving the storm isolated as a "cutoff low" with no deep-layer winds to carry it anywhere.
- Hurricane Ophelia (1.5 MB GIF) at 1433 UTC on 12 September 2005.
The category-1 storm is adrift east of the Carolinas, trapped as a cutoff low south of a standing loop in the jet stream that brought many days of fine weather to the northeastern USA.
- Ophelia, Nate and Maria (9 MB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 8 September 2005.
Ophelia is edged onto mid-Florida, while the other two hurricanes churn the Atlantic in this panoramic view from the GOES-12 visible channel.
- img src="../images/icons3/hurricane.icon.gif" alt="hurricane icon"> Katrina commemorative poster, front (89.1 MB PDF)
- img src="../images/icons3/hurricane.icon.gif" alt="hurricane icon"> Katrina commemorative poster, back (2.3 MB PDF)
- Hurricane Katrina landfall (6.2 MB JPG) at 1445 on 29 August 2005.
This color poster was composed using the clouds from the GOES visible channel as a translucent overlay on a MODIS true-color image of the USA.
- Hurricane Katrina movie (12 MB QT, small screen, Sorensen format) 24-29 August 2005.
Hurricane Katrina appeared suddenly in the Bahamas, moved quickly across southern Florida, intensified to category 5 in the warm-water, mild-wind conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, and then came ashore just east of New Orleans, eventually rupturing the levees and flooding the city.
In addition to being the most costly hurricane in history, Katrina is also the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history after causing an estimated $108 billion in damage.
The day/night animation is composed of GOES-12 visible/infrared images of the clouds on top of a color Landsat map.
Enhanced Katrina movies - GOES images over a MODIS true-color background:
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- Hurricane Katrina movie (145 MB QT, small screen, Sorensen format)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (215 MB MPEG, big screen, MPEG-1 format)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (197 MB QT, big screen, H264 format)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (39 MB AVI, big screen, H264 format)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (4.2 MB MP4, iPod screen, H264 format, silent)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (5.5 MB MP4, iPod screen, H264 format, music)
- Hurricane Katrina movie (6.1 MB QT, small screen, H264 format, music)
- Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf (1 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 28 August 2005.
The day before landfall, the storm was at category 5, feeding off the unusually warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and surrounded by calm, non-disruptive air. The previous passage over southern Florida left the water around the Keys and above the shallow shelf west of Florida very turbid.
- Hurricane Emily (21 MB QT) 16-21 July 2005.
Yet another powerful hurricane appears early in the 2005 season, flooding Yucatan and then northern Mexico.
- Hurricane Dennis (26 MB QT) 7-11 July 2005.
The remnants of Hurricane Cindy are departing the USA as Hurricane Dennis appears south of Cuba, comes ashore in the Florida panhandle, and drifts up the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.
- Tropical Storm Adrian heads northeast (1.1 MB GIF) at 1415 UTC on 19 May 2005.
This Pacific near-hurricane was unusual for forming so early in the year, and for heading northeast instead of west/northwest, threatening El Salvador and Hondouras with severe flooding.
Meanwhile, Lake Nicaragua enjoys a fine morning east of the storm.
- Springtime Gulf Stream (500 kB JPG) at 0145 UTC on 13 May 2005.
East of the mid-Atlantic states, the cold waters from just-melted ice in Canada mingles with the warm current from the South Atlantic in a complex series of eddies.
- Snow for Xmas (6 MB QT) 21-27 December 2004.
The movie shows two blizzards that struck first the midwest (Dec. 23) and then the Carolinas (Dec. 26) over the holiday. The blizzard in the midwest was particularly inconvenient, shutting down highway and air traffic for a few days at the height of the travel and shipping season. Many packages were late for Xmas.
The movie is an overlay of the GOES-observed clouds on a color map, with the colors desaturated using the observed temperature in the infrared channels, so that the land appears grey at night under the artic air mass behind the fronts.
- Pre-Xmas blizzard (2.5 MB GIF) at 2015 UTC on 23 December 2004.
A big, wet storm laid 1 to 2 feet of snow across the midwest from Texas through Missouri, up the Ohio valley and across the Great Lakes. This visible image shows the sharp northern edge of the storm track. Also notable are lake-effect snow on Chicago and the shadows of contrails (straight, thin dark streaks) on the clouds above Kentucky.
- Lake-effect snow (1.3 MB GIF) at 1732 UTC on 19 December 2004.
A Canadian cold air outbreak sweeps moisture off the Great Lakes and dumps it onto the USA. Just before the shortest day of the year, the lakes and rivers north of the border are frozen over, while those south of the border are about to do the same.
- Winter's first blast (250 kB GIF) at 0245 UTC on 16 December 2004.
Clear, freezing air covers the entire eastern half of the USA. This 4 micron infrared image reveals the still unfrozen rivers and reservoirs, which appear as warm (dark) pixels within the cold (grey) landscape, all the way into northern Florida.
- Thanksgiving snow streak in Illinois (300 kB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 25 November 2004.
The first snowstorm of the winter moved right up the Illinois River, from St. Louis to Chicago, closing O'Hare airport to holiday travel.
- Hurricane Ivan, the terrible (600kB JPG) at 1402 UTC on 15 September 2004.
Although the storm seems to be just stirring up water off the Florida panhandle, it is also causing under-sea mudslides that shut down 25% of the off-shore oil industry for a month (5% of the USA supply), helping to push the price of oil to over $50 per barrel.
The total damage cost from Ivan was $18.8 billion.
This image is a computer-generated composite, with the clouds rendered in 3-D according to their GOES infrared temperature (colder is higher, with the height exaggerated by about a factor of 10). Shadows are provided by the corresponding early-morning GOES visible image, with contrast enhancement. The blue-green color background image is from a summertime MODIS composite. The GOES infrared image was re-used to give a yellow tint to the clouds (yellower is warmer).
- Hurricane Frances, the movie (61 MB QT) 31 August - 7 September 2004.
Frances drifts through the Sargasso Sea and over the Bahamas, loses energy in the cool waters of the banks, then picks up energy from the Gulf Stream along the east coast of Florida, drifts across the Florida peninsula, re-energizes once again in the Gulf of Mexico, and drifts across the Florida panhandle into Georgia and the Carolinas.
Damage from Hurricane Frances in the U.S. was estimated at roughly $9.5 billion.
- Hurricane Frances muddied the waters (1.3 MB GIF) of the Bahamas and southwestern Florida, 1532 UTC on 6 September 2004.
Even though the storm only brushed the southern tip of Florida, the waters along the Keys were turbid, too.
- Hurricane Frances found the Gulf Stream eye-opening (1.0 MB GIF) at 2215 UTC on 4 September 2004.
As soon as it moved over the warm Gulf Stream, the eye of the hurricane re-opened for landfall on Florida's east coast.
- Georgette, Gaston, Hermine, Frances, and the full Moon (0.7 MB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 30 August 2004.
Georgette is in the Pacific, southwest of Baja.
Gaston is over North Carolina, with very good definition even after a day on land.
Hermine is a disorganized little storm east of Gaston.
Frances is trolling up hurricane alley, still east of Puerto Rico.
Argentina is enjoying a fine, clear spring day.
The full Moon appears in the background, below and to the right of the southern hemisphere.
- Hurricane Gaston comes ashore (0.7 MB GIF) at 1345 UTC on 29 August 2004.
The landfall of Gaston was preceded by sudden eye-formation over the warm waters of Gulf Stream just before it blew onto South Carolina at dawn.
- Cloud geography in the Amazon (2.9 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC 18 August 2004.
The open waters of the Amazon River suppress cloud formation, tracing the geography over a huge expanse of equatorial Brazil.
- Hurricane Danielle in mid-Atlantic (1.2 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 18 August 2004.
This hurricane formed just west of the African coast, turned north and dissipated before even getting to mid-Atlantic.
- Hurricane Charley movie (28 MB QT), enhanced infrared and visible images on a color background map during 11-14 August 2004.
The most destructive hurricane of the 2004 season moved north across Florida after racking Cuba and Jamaica. Fortunately, the eastern USA was under a large air mass, and the corresponding front kept the storm fast-moving and just off the most populated parts of the east coast.
The total cost of $15.1 billion made Charley the second most costly hurricane at the time.
- Hurricane Charley makes a "?" (103 kB JPEG) at 1845 UTC on 13 August 2004.
The hurricane's chance location at the southern tip of a large low pressure region over the midwest visually combines the comma-shaped clouds around the low with the cirrus shield of the hurricane to form a giant question mark.
- Hurricanes Bonnie and Charley (114 kB JPEG) at 1115 UTC on 12 August 2004.
The pair of storms hit Florida high and low.
- Hurricane Alex (38 MB QT) forms, moves up the East Coast, and out to sea along the Gulf Stream during 01-05 August 2004. The mid-ocean phase develops the classic spiral structure abound an eye.
This movie was made from enhanced visible and infrared cloud images overlaid on a blue-green background map.
- Florida heat wave (56 kB GIF) observed in the 3.9 micron infrared channel at 1930 UTC on 13 July 2004.
The black spots on the land are hot surface features that are nearly off-scale in the infrared image - some are urban heat islands, others are naturally hot regions, such as exposed rock.
- Moon-shot (0.9 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 3 April 2004.
From the GOES point-of-view, the moon passes behind the Earth for a few days twice per month. This is often enough for it to appear by chance in one of the corners of the GOES scan pattern every month or two. The apparent motion of the moon with respect to the geostationary Earth skews the image in the east-west direction, and the back-and-forth scans by the Imager further chop up the edges of the moon's image. In the visible band, the moon is dark compared to the Earth. In the infrared bands, it is either too hot or too cold to be captured by the dynamic range of the Imager, which is narrowly tuned to the Earth's dynamic range, and so the moon's image is saturated or dark in all the long-wave channels.
- Midnight sun (56 kB GIF) at 0532 UTC on 27 April 2004.
The apparent glow in the middle of the Earth's disk is due to sun glint inside the telescope. Just after satellite midnight for GOES-12, the line-of-sight to the sun is a little above Greenland. Some off-axis direct rays are getting into the telescope and scattering onto the visible detectors. In addition, the secondary mirror gets briefly over-heated, where the beam is concentrated 10-fold. In another week, the sun will be far enough north of the Earth that the scattered light will not be significant.
- Hurricane hits Brazil (5.5 MB QT) 22-29 March 2004.
The week-long movie shows a small hurricane forming in the South Atlantic, coming ashore on the southeastern coast of Brazil, and promptly disintegrating on the mountainous terrain. Hurricanes are so rare in this region that they do not get named, as do the hurricanes of the North Atlantic and the typhoons of the Pacific. The report marked the first time since 1966, when satellite tracking began, that NOAA has recorded a hurricane-strength storm in the South Atlantic Ocean. Hurricanes rarely form there due to the combination of lower sea surface temperatures and higher wind shear than found in "hurricane alley" (less energy and more disruption to the storm). Penn State's meteorology department saw this as the result of a very long-lived cut-off upper-level low.
A simple synthetic color scheme was used to provide day-night viewing in the movie: the infrared window channels at 11 and 4 microns are put into the green and blue bands, and the visible channel is put into the red band. Consequently, the night time images are blue-green, and the bright clouds during the daytime are salmon-red.
- Hurricane approaches Brazil (2.9 MB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 27 March 2004.
This visible image shows a brilliant sunny day in Argentina, as well. See the discussion just above about the rarity of this event.
- Sun-glint at midnight on the equinox (0.2 MB GIF) at 0345 UTC on 23 March 2004.
The sun is setting behind the west limb of the Earth a hour before midnight, so you can see the thin crescent limb. In addition, some sun glare bounces around in the telescope, making faint blurs of light, such as the ghost south of Greenland, seen in a normal visible enhancement (2x contrast and gamma).
- Cold coastal water (0.5 MB JPG) at 0402 UTC on 29 February 2004.
An infrared image with "white-for-cold" clouds also reveals the cold, late-winter currents that flow southward down along New England and the mid-Atlantic states before being swept out to sea by the Gulf Stream. Several cold whirls are apparent at the boundary between the cold and waters north and south of the Gulf Stream. The background image is a simple green-for-land and blue-for-ocean map of the east coast of North America.
- Mexico's Colima volcano puffs (0.4 MB QT) 26 February 2004.
The GOES-12 visible channel catches the volcano venting at dawn, after which the ash drifts rapidly to the east until midday.
- Sun-glint south of the border (1.0 MB GIF) 30 January 2004 at 1745 UTC.
A midday full-disk visible image reveals a large and complicated sun-glint from the equatorial waters west of Peru, where some clouds look white and others look black.
- Chilly everywhere at midnight (0.3 MB JPEG) 23 January 2004 at 0502 UTC.
This thermal infrared image of the eastern USA is overlaid on a blue-green background map, but it still dramatizes the chill of lake-effect snows, land as cold as cloud tops, icy shelf water off the mid-atlantic coast, and even cold water in the shallow banks around the Bahamas and southwest of the Florida peninsula.
- Wintery jet (0.7 MB JPEG) at 1530 UTC on 14 December 2003.
The energetic clash of Canadian and Gulf Coast air masses results in a fast geostrophic wind and a long, straight cold front marked by snowy clouds along the eastern seaboard.
- Appalachian snowfall (0.7 MB GIF) GOES visible image at 2015 UTC on 7 December 2003 reveals the ancient folded mountain range very well after first major snowfall of the 2003-2004 winter.
- Colorful Hurricane Kate (0.5 MB JPEG) in mid-Atlantic at 1775 UTC on 3 October 2003.
This shapely but remote storm was made into a gaudy picture by using the visible 0.6 micron channel in the red layer with the 4 and 11 micron infrared channels in the blue and green layers, and then applying some Adobe Photoshop enhancements.
- Isabel, The Movie (24 MB QT) 10-19 September 2003.
This digitally enhanced movie was made by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen of the NASA-GSFC Visualization Analysis Lab.
The animation combines NOAA's operational cloud images from GOES-EAST (the Imager instrument) with historical color backgrounds from NASA's Terra satellite (the MODIS instrument) during the day, and from the Air Force's DMSP satellite (the OLS instrument) at night.
The GOES visible images are used during the day, and the thermal infrared images are used at night, with digital blending at the sunrise/sunset terminator.
The low warm clouds in the eye of the hurricane are not noticeable at night, being nearly the same temperature as the sea surface.
The animation is somewhat irregular in time because the GOES satellite does not take pictures at constant time-intervals.
- Hurricane Isabel comes ashore (3.5 MB GIF) at 1445 UTC on 18 September 2003.
The storm did serious damage to the North Carolina coast before moving across central Virginia and West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and Ontario Canada. Electrical power to the mid-Atlantic was not restored for serveral days, even in the Washington DC area, where over a million people were without electrical power for days.
- Hurricane Isabel's "pinwheel eye" (0.5 MB GIF) at 1812 UTC on 13 September 2003.
Still at category 5 (155 mph winds), sub-storms in the eye of the hurricane persist in organizing themselves into star-like pin-wheeled shapes.
- Hurricane Isabel at category 5 (0.7 MB GIF) at 1812 UTC on 12 September 2003.
Category 5 hurricanes have sustained winds over 155 mph, and are capable of enormous damage. At this time, Isabel is well northeast of Puerto Rico, following the path of its category 3 predecessor, Fabian, which wrecked Bermuda.
- Isabel, category 5 under rapid scan (11 MB QT) is a movie made from occasional bursts of 8 images at one-minute intervals. Notice the mesocale swirls in the eye, particularly the 5-armed "starfish" cloud formation at the beginning of the sequence.
- Hurricane Isabel in mid-Atlantic (0.5 MB GIF) at 1245 UTC on 9 September 2003.
This wide field-of-view image demonstrates the isolation of even a category 4 hurricane (winds >125 mph) in the northern hemisphere at the height of storm season.
The corresponding close-up view at full resolution (0.8 MB GIF) reveals the well-formed eye and violently overshooting convective cloud tops in the spiral arms of the storm.
Isabel under rapid scan (11 MB QT) is a movie made from occasional bursts of 8 images at one-minute intervals.
- Hurricane Fabian pounds Bermuda (0.3 MB JPG) at 2045 UTC on 5 September 2003.
Combined infrared and visible imagery on a colored map display a direct hit on the island, while a tropical storm soaks Florida.
- Squall line stuns Washington DC (0.7 MB QT) on the afternoon of 26 August 2003.
An unpredicted squall line raced down out of West Virginia onto the nation's capital, stunning the city in less than an hour with high winds, thousands of lightning strikes, inches of rain and flooding.
- Hurricane Erika and mid-Atlantic haze (0.4 MB GIF) at 1245 UTC on 16 August 2003.
Erika barely made it to category 1, while an enormous deep air mass of hot, humid and hazy air smothers the mid-west states, mid-atlantic states, and mid-atlantic ocean.
- Tornado in south Florida (2 MB QT) on the afternoon of 7 August 2003.
A surprise F1 tornado went through Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Gardens between 5:15 and 5:45 pm EDT (2115 to 2145 UTC), damaging or destroying about 500 homes, but somehow killing no one.
- Hurricane Claudette in motion (4 MB QT) on 15-16 July 2003.
The storm dithered unpredictably in mid-Gulf before being blown deep into southwest Texas.
GOES-12 visible and infrared cloud images were blended together, overlaid on a colorized map, and animated from a long series of day-night observations.
- Hurricane Claudette hits Texas (0.6 MB GIF) at 1545 UTC on 15 July 2003.
The storm formed an eye (implying maximum winds) just at it reached landfall, probably due to the extra energy available in the warm coastal waters of the Gulf.
- Tropical Storm Bill in motion (4 MB QT) on 30 June 2003.
The GOES-12 visible and infrared cloud images are overlaid on a colorized background map, and animated from the several-per-hour observations.
- Tropical Storm Bill (0.4 MB GIF) at 1845 UTC on 30 June 2003.
The GOES-12 visible and infrared cloud images are overlaid on a colorized map background during landfall at midday, and include the entire eastern USA and Caribbean, for perspective.
- Mid-summer crescent Earth (3 MB GIF) 0545 UTC on 23 June 2003.
The compressed GIF image expands to a 3000x3000 pixel image of the Earth back-lit by the Sun shortly after midnight, with a visible crescent wrapping more than half way around the disk due to twilight.
- Killer tornados in Kansas-Missouri (8 MB QT) occur in this visible imagery on Sunday afternoon, 4 May 2003.
About 20 people were reported dead in Missouri, and at least 11 more were killed in Tennessee, when the outbreak reached there after dark.
- GOES-12 animates clear-air gravity waves over Mexico (400 kB QT) 17 March 2003.
A movie-loop in the high-resolution 6.7 micron band on GOES-12 demonstrates the the finely ribbed gravity waves stay in-place, as a strong westerly wind ripples across the desert.
This offers the possibility that this channel could help detect clear-air turbulence in the mid-troposphere, and improve safety for cross-country jet planes.
- GOES-12's better resolution reveals clear-air gravity waves over Mexico (170 kB GIF) at 1745 UTC on 17 March 2003.
The 6.7 micron water vapor channel on GOES-12 has 4 km resolution pixels, twice as good as the 8 km pixels from the Imagers on GOES-8 through GOES-11.
At this time, GOES-12 was taking full-disk images every half-hour at 85W, while drifting over to replace GOES-8 at 75W.
In this case, both satellites scanned northern Mexico at the same time.
The improved resolution on GOES-12 revels a fine tracery of gravity waves barely detected by GOES-8 in the corresponding 6.7 micron band.
The GOES-8 11.0 micron and 0.64 micron (visible) bands show no evidence of the gravity waves in nearly clear air.
- First SXI image from GOES-12 (0.05 MB JPEG) 17 March 2003.
- First GOES-12 visible full-disk image (0.4 MB GIF) at 1800 UTC on 17 August 2001. The image is 1/16th resolution, to make downloading tolerable over modems. Cut-outs of a few interesting areas have been blown up to show detail. Higher resolution versions are listed below.
The blow-ups demonstrate the full resolution of the Imager. Each is a touchstone for one of GOES contributions to science and society:
1) The central area is the Galapagos Islands, which are active volcanoes. There are several hundred active volcanoes in the western hemisphere, and GOES observes an eruption somewhere about one per month. Volcanic ash is a serious aviation hazard monitored by NOA.
2) The area in the mid-south Pacific shows a winter storm in the "roaring 40's". GOES image sequences are used to estimate cloud-tracked winds in this huge uninhabited ocean. GOES wind estimates improve global weather forecasts, particularly in the southern hemisphere.
3) The area west of Baja presents swirls in the delicate marine stratus clouds that cover the southern end of the Alaska-California current on it's way to Hawaii. These thin clouds reflect a large amount of sunlight, keeping the current and Hawaii from being as hot as the Caribbean and Cuba. GOES is used to observe the climatology of these variable "parasol" clouds in the Earth's radiation budget.
4) The clear area over the Great Salt Lake, Utah, shows that it really is two lakes with different opacity, thanks to a man-made causeway across the middle of the lake. GOES provided rapid scans of the area during the 2002 winter Olympics to help weather forecasters during the events in the mountains.
5) The area over Cape Canaveral, Florida, shows a large late-summer thunderstorm. GOES takes special scans of the area during space shuttle launches and landings to help real time weather forecasting in this very unstable region.
6) The area in the Caribbean captures a big tropical storm at the beginning of the hurricane season. Without GOES, we would not be able to see the development of these storms until they were coming ashore. GOES most important job is tracking hurricanes.
- GOES-8/10/12 comparison (0.5 MB GIF) on 17 August 2001. NOAA normally tries to avoid scanning the Earth simultaneously with the GOES satellites, but the first full-disk visible image from GOES-12 at 90 W started at 1800 UTC, exactly the same time as a full-disk image was started by GOES-10 at 135 W, and just 15 minutes after a full-disk image by GOES-8 at 75 W. This set of miniature images shows the Earth simultaneously from 3 viewpoints. The throughput of the new GOES-12 telescope is noticeably better than the older satellites, especially GOES-8, which has lost more than half of its throughput during 7 years in orbit.
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