Derived Satellite Images

GOES-E Sounder instrument (measures atmospheric temperature and moisture, surface and cloud-top temperatures, and ozone levels) quit working on November 20, 2015. It is unknown if that instrument will ever work again. As a result, coverage for many derived images will only be available for the western United States.

Despite the numerous upper air soundings around the world there are vast areas over the oceans where there is no information. The GOES satellites help fill in that missing information.

Besides the typical visual, infrared and water vapor images, GOES satellites (and POES satellites as well) have the ability to provide additional information about the state of the atmosphere. Following are just some of the information that can be derived from GOES satellite.

Atmospheric Soundings

Sensors on the satellite provide temperatures of the atmosphere and when combined with the amount of moisture means convection information can be derived. One such derived product is atmospheric soundings. This is similar information to radiosonde observations.

An example of a derived atmospheric sounding from a GOES satellite.

These diagrams include both the GOES and the first guess (model data). Also included are several derived parameters to the right of each diagram. The GOES thermal gradient winds (derived from the Soundings) are also displayed on the diagrams. Learn more about some of these parameters.

Convective Parameters

GOES satellites provides derived parameters for Lifted Index, CAPE, Convective Inhibition and Total Precipitable Water. These indices are important for the determination of severe weather.

Wind Images

The afore mentioned derived products need cloud free regions to arrive at the values. However, GOES satellite can also use the motion of clouds to determine wind speed and direction.

Called "High Density Winds" each of the satellite's sensors (visible, infrared and water vapor), along with other information, track clouds and features the atmosphere at different levels.

From there it can determine wind speed and direction which is very helpful over the oceans.