Monday, January 30, 2017

New weather satellite, GOES-16 provides potential for improved forecasts

There’s a saying that goes like this:

“Are you unhappy with the way the weather is in Kansas? Just wait five minutes and it will change.”

While that may not be true, there are times when we have all felt frustrated by inaccurate weather forecasts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA are trying to improve our current ability to forecast the weather with the new GOES-16 weather satellite which launched in November 2016.

Less than two months after its launch, the GOES-16 satellite has already sent back images that are out of this world.

According to NOAA’s image gallery, these images, a snapshot of earth on January 15 were taken at the same time. The image on the left is a color-composite full disk image from the GOES-16 satellite. It has five-times greater cover, four times the spatial resolution and three-times the spectral channels than the earlier generation, GOES-13, shown on the right.
The image on the right cannot produce the same “true color” effect without the inclusion of more data, according to the NOAA image gallery.

The website also said that the new GOES-16 technology can provide a full-disk image of the earth every 15 minutes and one of the continental U.S every 5 minutes.

“(The GOES-16) has the ability to target regional areas where severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions or other high-impact environmental phenomena are occurring as often as every 30 seconds.” The website said.

The GOES-16’s photo was taken about 22,300 miles high. North America, South America and the west coast of Africa are in view. This image was captured during the big ice storm that affected parts of Kansas.

While the GOES-16 is still in its testing phase for several months, it has given meteorologists a positive forecast when it comes to predicting weather. More accurate predictions also mean that KDOT crews can treat roads more effectively.

Want more information on the GOES-16? Check out the NOAA image gallery:

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