NCC, GOES-16 and the Pacific Northwest

Another round of storms are headed for the Pacific Northwest, bringing high winds and precipitation. Updates on the storms can be seen via the following link.

An observer on the ground can see the current storm via satellite, utilizing polar-orbiting data. A data product that comes from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on-board the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite is the Near-Constant Contrast (NCC). The NCC is a derived product of the Day/Night Band (DNB) sensor which utilizes a sun/moon reflectance model to illuminate atmospheric features, sense emitted lights and assists with cloud monitoring during the nighttime. Figure 1 below shows the NCC image in AWIPS-II displaying the synoptic-scale storm over the western part of the United States at 0935Z, 7 April 2017. In this case, the NCC can show the location of the storm, recognize clouds and snow via reflected moonlight, sense the emitted city lights and highlight the gas flares in western North Dakota. In the top-right hand corner of Figure 1, the moon percent visibility and moon elevation angle are provided where a positive moon elevation angle implies that the moon is above the horizon, which in turn, provides crisp, distinct satellite imagery.

                                                             Figure 1


Although the NCC does express limitations, with one of them in that users can only receive two satellite images per day (one during the day, one during the nighttime), users can use NCC in complement to the new GOES-16 data that just arrived within the past month in tracking storms. In Animation 1 below, utilizing the same domain in AWIPS-II, GOES-16 visible imagery (0.64um) was loaded and users can see the most-recent updates of the evolution of the storm, as it moves northward throughout the state of Washington. GOES-16 data ranges from 13-19Z, 7 April 2017.

                                                             Animation 1


Disclaimer: 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.

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