Bands 8, 9, and 10, from GOES-16, are combined to render the upper, mid, and lower level atmosphere in pseudo-color. Blue shades represent the higher elevations, and the reddish-browns, the lower.
The animation at left marks the beginning of our utilization of the new generation of NOAA geostationary satellites. GOES-16 (east)
delivers this "CONUS" view every five minutes, in 16 bands, as well as a "full disk" hemispheric view every 15 minutes. At right is a composite nighttime sea surface temperature from GOES-16 band 7. The link below the image leads to the daily archive. Please check back often for more new GOES-16 products!
Click above image to download Quicktime movie of Apr-Sep cloudmasked SST imagery.
Nightly cloudmasked SST magery coming soon!
Image of The Week
High Pressure Dominates Central US as Storms Make Landfall
GOES-16 3-band Composite Water Vapor
(Click image to download Quicktime animation)
The 2-day (Aug 20 to midday Aug 22) animation, at left, combines 3 GOES-16 ABI bands to highlight low, mid, and upper level atmospheric water vapor. Hurricane Hilary is making landfall across the Baja/ California border, and later, Tropical Storm Harold develops across the Gulf of Mexico and makes its landfall along the Texas coastline. A large persistent dome of high pressure that has dominated the central/southern United States is revealed, as the moisture field of Hurricane Hilary is swept around the northern tier states and into New England. A current animation of this water vapor visualization is available here
The Loop Current (LC) controls circulation and temperature from the surface to at least 800 m water depth
in the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). On June 1, 2023 the LC began a northward surge towards
Louisiana, surrounding a warm eddy which had started to separate from the LC in mid-May (see May 17 image,
left panel). The northward surge introduced abnormally warm water from the Caribbean Sea into the central
and eastern GoM as seen on June 9, 2023 (right panel). Surface temperatures within the southern LC, near
the Yucatan Channel, reached 30.54 °C (86.7 °F) and, as it turned to the east and southeast near 28° N,
surface temperatures reached 28.9 °C (84.1 °F) (right panel). Since May 1, surface temperatures in the LC
increased 2.3 °C (4.1 °F). NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch
anomalies of 2 C on June 9, 2023 (URL) within
northward surge of the LC. Many past GoM hurricanes (Opal, Lili, Katrina, Rita, Ida, to name a few) have
rapidly over the LC and its warm eddies not only due to the surface water temperatures but its high heat
content extending to 100 meters or more in depth. Relatively low salinity water around the Mississippi delta reached
maximum temperatures of 28.4 C (83.1 F) on June 9, indicating extremely rapid warming of 5.7 C (10.2 F) over
the same 5-week period. Relatively cool water temperatures of 26.0 C (78.8 F) were measured in the NE GoM,
an area which had experienced tropical storm winds within the last week and rapid cooling due to wind-related
evaporation. Most of the GoM surface waters are now well above the minimum of 26 C (78.8 F) necessary for
hurricane development and maintenance.
The newest Gulf of Mexico Warm Core Eddy (WCE) named Eddy Zodiac detached from the Loop Current around 12/28/22. The animation of GOES composite sea surface temperature (SST) data (center) shows the detachment and subsequent surface circulation from eddy detachment to mid-January 2023. The left and right panels depict SST as well as contours of altimeter-derived SSH (sea surface height) on 12/29/22 and 1/13/22. The 17 cm SSH contour (bold line) highlights the outer margins of each warm water feature. The clockwise rotation within Eddy Zodiac is apparent in the SST animation. Loop Current frontal eddies are smaller cold-core eddies (rotating counter-clockwise) which can be seen along the northern margin of the Loop Current travelling eastward towards the Florida Straits. In addition, along the northern side of the WCE, rapid growth of a cold-core frontal eddy can be observed leading to a circulation that competes in size with the WCE. Cold-core eddies are characterized by the upwelling of nutrient-rich waters which support enormous phytoplankton blooms especially after a hurricane passes over, leading to the development of a prolific biological community, which includes tuna species and sperm whales.
The SSH contours were provided by Dr. Robert Leben, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado, Boulder. The GOES SST imagery were provided by Mr. Alaric Haag and Dr. Nan Walker, affiliated with the Earth Scan Lab, Dept. of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Naming of Loop Current warm core eddies is performed routinely by Horizon Marine Inc.
More GOES ABI SST composite imagery can be viewed in our ABI Nightly Gulf of Mexico Composite SST imagery archive.
Heavy winter precipitation in the midwest brought rising waters to the Mississippi River in late February, 2018. Last opened just two years ago, the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located in the southwestern corner of Lake Pontchartrain, was opened on March 8th, to relieve pressure on the levees. Engineers sought to keep the river stage at New Orleans below 17 feet, and have opened about half of the 350 bays. This gallery of images will catalog the macro-scale movement of this sediment-laden water. More images can be found in the recent images in the Image of the Week collection.
2019 Mississippi River Flood Surveillance
The Mississippi River flood event of 2019 lasted from February to July, requiring two openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway into Lake Pontchartrain. Click the abbreviated animation above to download a Quicktime animation of the relatively clear sky images during these six months to showcase sediment discharges from the Mississippi River birds-foot delta, the Atchafalaya delta, as well as from Lake Pontchartrain and other Louisiana estuaries.
New Regional MODIS Truecolor areas
The Earth Scan Laboratory is excited to now provide high-resolution MODIS Truecolor imagery for several new areas around the entire perimeter of the Gulf of Mexico. The above images are examples of just a few of the new regional views. The new medium-scale scenes include the northwest, central, northeast Gulf coast, central Florida and the Keys, the Yucatán peninsula, Laguna de Términos, Mexico and Texas Gulf coast.
Please visit the MODIS Regional Truecolor Imagery
archive to browse the entire archive. We are busy back-filling dates for 2021 at this time.
Left panel: Hurricane Ida's track is shown (at left) overlaid on the August 26, 2021 Sea Surface Height (SSH) image*, with positions plotted every 12 hours to highlight the storm's rapid intensification. After leaving Cuba, Ida tracked over the Gulf’s warm high velocity current named the Loop Current (LC). This current exhibits elevated SSH compared with surrounding waters and shows up as dark orange in this image. The LC margin can be defined by the 17 cm contour, shown here with a solid black line. Blue image colors show areas of lowest heat content within cold core eddies, prevalent along the outer margin of the LC. Hurricane Ida was a category 1 hurricane on 8/28 (00h00 UTC) early in its transit of the LC, but 12 hours later she had increased to category 2, and another 12 hours later had attained category 4 status, which was sustained until landfall on the Louisiana coast. It is apparent that most of her intensity change occurred while traversing the core axis of the Loop Current. Ida, like several previous storms (Lili, Katrina, Rita, and others), exhibited rapid intensification over the Loop Current, which provides abundant heat to developing storms.
Right panel: Hurricane Ida is shown making landfall on Louisiana coast in a false color image of cloudtop temperature, using data from the ABI sensor onboard the GOES-16 geostationary satellite. Click the image to download a Quicktime animation showing the storm as it develops over the Caribbean, enters and rapidly intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico. A broader view of the entire life of Hurricane Ida is available here.
* Provided by Dr. Robert Leben, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Univ. Colorado.