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Using Channel 3 (6.7 µm) Imagery, Part I

Water vapor imagery can be used to examine the details in the upper-level wind field. This GOES-8 imagery covers a mid-latitude cyclone over the central U.S. on 18 June 1998. It shows the characteristic comma shape of the cyclone along with the cold, high clouds associated with the system. Notice the region covering the midwestern states of MN, WI, IA, and IL. Since the 6.7 µm channel is sensitive to upper-level water vapor, it depicts the upper-level moisture distribution, with the gray shades indicating high upper-level relative humidities and the orange colors representing low upper-level relative humidities. The downward vertical motion of the air behind the cold front is evident in the lower relative humidities seen over western TX, western OK, and eastern KS. In contrast, much of the air is of higher relative humidity at the upper levels over much of the Gulf of Mexico.

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