MEMPHIS (RNN / WMC) - It's an exciting day in the meteorological world as the GOES-16 (formerly named GOES-R) satellite released its first high-resolution images of the earth. The release is the latest step in the new age of satellite technology that promises a high-definition view of the earth.
What will be particularly exciting for meteorologists and forecasters such as myself is the crisp, clear high-res imagery that will help distinguish cloud cover and cloud types. Making the distinction between morning fog and clouds will also be very helpful in forecasting temperatures for days when that stubborn fog hangs around. Having a clearer picture of water vapor will help determine how much available moisture we have as well. For other forecasters who deal with volcanoes, seeing high-resolution images of ash will help keep those in the path safe.
GOES-16 which sits 22,300 above the surface of the earth will send back images about 4 times as sharp as before.
By the end of the year, GOES-16 will be linking up with other satellites to help send back improved meteorological, solar, and space weather products. In the next year, GOES-17, a second upgraded satellite will launch as well.
All this is part of a continuing effort to utilized the latest in weather technology to keep you safe and informed when severe or interesting weather occurs!