"Spotter in Space"
for Thunderstorm Evolution
over the Northern Plains

2 June 2011

GOES-East Visible Satellite Loop

This loop runs from 2345Z June 2 (6:45 p.m. CDT June 2) to 0230Z June 3 (9:30 p.m. CDT June 2), at irregular 15-30 minute intervals (as data were available). The loop has 11 frames totalling roughly 2500 KB. Once loaded, you can stop the loop, go to the beginning, then step forward frame-by-frame to see each picture.

This loop illustrates the formation of thunderstorms in the Northern Plains (mainly North Dakota, northern South Dakota and Manitoba), from the point of view an observer (the satellite) located at 23,000 miles over the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to the steep angle of view, and the resolution of the satellite image, upward as well as horizontal development of storm towers and anvils easily can be seen, along with

  1. Noticeable gaps between storm anvils and ground
  2. Cloud shadows and
  3. Some details of cloud evolution, such as overshooting tops and individual towers.
Of course, the cloud shadows lengthen as sun angle lowers, offering a more deeply textured look at the storms until darkness sets in.

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