Launch of the NOAA weather satellite

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (WFLA) — NOAA’s most sophisticated weather satellite launched into space on Tuesday afternoon. GOES-T, now called GOES-18, will orbit the earth 22,000 miles above the equator monitoring Western Hemisphere weather conditions with state-of-the-art technology.

NOAA’s new series of GOES satellites has revolutionized the way meteorologists see and predict the weather. High resolution scans from above arrive every 30 seconds. These advances allow us to see rotating thunderstorms and provide earlier warning time for tornado development. We can even track the minute, small-scale changes in intensities and movement deviations with hurricanes.

The mighty satellite also has a wide range of sensors to detect an array of things, including:

  • lightning mapper
  • Detailed fog and low cloud tracking
  • Detection of solar flares
  • Incoming spatial radiation
  • Critical ocean observations like water temperature
  • Wind speeds aloft
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Ash and sulfur dioxide monitoring
  • Magnetic field variations
  • Forest fire detection and intensity estimation
  • Air Quality Data
  • and much more!

GOES-18 will eventually replace GOES-17 which is currently in orbit later this year. Unfortunately, GOES-17 experienced a malfunction on one of its cooling instruments shortly after its launch just four years ago. The issue has been resolved for the rest of the GOES-R series satellites.

It launched Tuesday evening at 4:38 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral and will spend the rest of the year adjusting and bringing sensors online before fully replacing GOES-17. GOES-17 will then replace GOES-18 early next year.

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