BLOG: Next generation weather satellite nearly ready - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: Next generation weather satellite nearly ready

(Source: NOAA) (Source: NOAA)

We just received the first images from the next generation of weather satellites that are being put into orbit to observe and monitor weather over the western hemisphere and the United States.

The first of two satellites, GOES-16, will become operational this coming November but is already in orbit sending test images. These new satellites will not only produce images with far higher clarity and detail (resolution) but they will also have the capability of taking images much more frequently, as often as every 30 seconds. 

This will allow meteorologists and researchers to more closely watch the evolution of rapidly developing small scale weather features such as localized thunderstorms, and produce even more timely and accurate alerts and forecasts.

Take a look at the attached sample image of Florida and the surrounding Caribbean. Notice the axis of bubbling cumulus clouds extending from south Florida eastward across the Bahamas and out over the Atlantic.  The detail here is so incredible I was certain at first this picture was artificially enhanced. 

I can’t imagine what a hurricane will look like through this lens.

Of course as a broadcast meteorologist, I always hope these improvements will quickly trickle down into our weather computers here at the television stations so we can share these with you on a nightly basis.

So as we like to say in our business... stand by!

Click here for more information from NASA.

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