DISCUSSION: As we continue to move through the remainder of 2019, millions of people spread around the world have already enjoyed the magnificence of the advanced remote sensing capabilities since late November 2016. It goes without saying that GOES-East has forever changed the way we consider and study a good portion of the Western Hemisphere. From studying severe weather events, to considering the impacts from wildfires, to major flooding events, to tropical cyclones from around the world, GOES-East has completely changed the ways in which we study and forecast high-impact atmospheric phenomena. More specifically, forecast accuracy and overall reliability have collectively increased over time in most cases. This is due in part to the vastly increased resolution of this and other recent satellite imagers having the ability to enable atmospheric forecasters and research scientists to better anticipate how and why certain events may unfold.
In looking a little closer, GOES-East has allowed such advances as more accurately being able to anticipate severe storm initiation ahead of a major severe weather outbreak which consequently allows for longer average lead times for storm watches and/or warnings on a regional-to-local scale. In addition, GOES-East and earth-orbiting imagers have enabled tropical forecasters to get way better insights into the early as well as the critically-important development stages of tropical cyclones across the tropical Atlantic Ocean basin and beyond. One such example from right here in 2019 would be the critical application of GOES-East into the early-on longer-term and then the latter critical shorter-term forecasts issued by the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center for Hurricane Dorian which has momentously gone down in the history books as one of the most powerful and prolific tropical cyclones of all-time across the tropical Atlantic basin.
In the brief high-resolution visible satellite imagery attached above, you can just begin to appreciate and respect the incredibly high-level of tremendous detail which was provided by the state-of-the-art capabilities from GOES-East. You can see the gravity wave action emanating from center of the storm and moving outward, the symmetry transverse banding features on the periphery of Dorian’s circulation, and even the mesovortices located within the eye of Dorian as the storm was approaching the far eastern Bahamas. These were collectively a major indication of a powerful and dangerous storm and helped to verify the major importance of as many people as possible to respect the inherent dangers associated with this incoming tropical cyclone. Moreover, it is imperative to point out that this is just one of literally hundreds of instances in which GOES-East and similar satellite imaging platforms have forever changed the ways in which the global geoscience community considers and studies the atmosphere.
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©2019 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz