Lake-effect showers off Salt Lake and Seasonal Lakes

The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing testing.  Users bear all responsibility for inspecting the data prior to use and for the manner in which the data are utilized.

By Darren Van Cleave (NWS Salt Lake City)

On the morning of April 4, lake-effect showers existed off Salt Lake of Utah, as seen in the GOES-16 0.64 micron “Red” visible band:



This temporal resolution (every 5 minutes) essentially offered information at the same rate as radar scans on the band’s development and movement. The spatial resolution also reveals interesting convective details.

For a comparison with current GOES 15 imagery, there are up to 4 visible images available (depending on system legacy):



This comparison illustrates how valuable the temporal resolution can be, regardless of GOES-16 becoming GOES-East or GOES-West.

For overnight feature identification, we can also compare improvements between current GOES-IR:


and the GOES-16 IR band:


Several seasonal “lakes” in western Utah have standing water currently (including the relatively rate Sevier “Lake”), this can be easily seen in the 0.86 micron “Veggie” band on GOES-16 since this band offers significant contrast between water and land surfaces as water surfaces are quite dark:



compare this to the 0.64 micron “Red” visible band:


the same features are more difficult to discern.

This illustrates that the water/land differences of the 0.86 micron “Veggie” band are useful beyond just coastal regions.  As shown here, it even has utility in the Great Basin.

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