It's not hot air: Using GOES-16 infrared window bands to diagnose adjacent summertime air masses
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It's not hot air: Using GOES-16 infrared window bands to diagnose adjacent summertime air masses
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    Meteorological Applications, 26(3), 362-368
Filetype[PDF-1.00 MB]


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  • Description:
    The first in the next-generation series of the US Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites system (GOES), GOES-16, is providing improved quality satellite imagery of atmospheric phenomena and land features over the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, benefitting scientists and operational meteorologists. A frontal passage separating distinct air masses for a typical warm season case over the Upper Midwest on August 30, 2017, is examined in a discussion on the value of GOES-16 infrared window band imagery. The “split window” difference between the 10.3 and 12.3 μm long wave infrared bands, a traditional approach to characterizing visually low-level water vapour in cloud-free scenes, is compared with the 3.9 μm short wave infrared window band for identifying two distinct air masses. Surface station temperatures and dew points confirm modest moisture pooling ahead of the southward-moving front. These window bands are not new to the geostationary orbit, but with GOES-16, they are available at higher bit depths and at better spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. This makes identifying and analysing fronts and air masses more apparent compared with legacy imagery, particularly during the day if properly enhanced. While a hindrance to quantitative approaches, solar contamination in the 3.9 μm band can be beneficial to analysts performing this task visually.
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