New GOES-T weather satellite will help West Coast forecasters

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The first step to making an accurate weather forecast is to know what is happening right now. To do this, reliable data is needed for the forecast area as well as for areas upwind from where weather systems are moving. For West Coast forecasters, upwind weather is over the Pacific Ocean, where weather data points are very sparse. But a new NOAA weather satellite that was launched earlier this afternoon will help fill those data gaps and ultimately lead to better forecasts. “We can now provide greater fidelity of upstream information, even over water, over Pacific waters in particular,” said GOES Chief of Staff Kevin Fryar. The GOES-T satellite successfully launched at 1:38 p.m. PST from NASA’s Kennedy space. Center in Florida. Its final orbital position is just over 22,000 miles above Earth’s equator. On board is a set of instruments that will take high resolution snapshots using different lenses to capture different features. The GOES-T satellite replaces the current GOES-West satellite which was launched four years ago on this date. This satellite is being moved into a backup role after operators discovered an overheating issue in the main sensor. The same sensor has been upgraded to GOES-T to prevent future issues. Data from GOES-T will help forecasters better observe things like atmospheric humidity, which is useful for tracking atmospheric river storms and small storm cells that can cause flooding or other severe weather. Another GOES-T product will help spot wildfires as soon as they start. “With our imager and our ability to see and detect them early, we are able to inform decision makers and managers and inform them,” the GOES Chief of Staff said. Kevin Fryar. In the past, wildfires often had to be spotted and reported from the ground. At this point, the fires can already be very large and difficult to control. GOES-T images will help give firefighters a big early warning advantage. Lightning Mapper” on board GOES-T can also locate lightning strikes in the western United States. This can alert forecasters to possible fire hazards as well as potentially severe thunderstorms. GOES-T will also monitor solar activity and geomagnetic storms heading towards Earth. This can help provide an early warning for the potential for widespread cellular data and GPS disruptions and other communication problems. GOES-T will begin sending images back to Earth in early May. It is expected to become fully operational around this time next year. For more information on the GOES series of weather satellites, visit the official launch website.

The first step to making an accurate weather forecast is to know what is happening right now. To do this, reliable data is needed for the forecast area as well as for areas upwind from where weather systems are moving.

For West Coast forecasters, upwind weather is over the wide-open Pacific Ocean, where weather data points are very sparse.

But a new NOAA weather satellite that was launched earlier this afternoon will help fill those data gaps and ultimately lead to better forecasts.

“We can now provide greater fidelity of upstream information, even over water, over Pacific waters in particular,” said GOES Chief of Staff Kevin Fryar.

The GOES-T satellite successfully launched at 1:38 p.m. PST from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Its final orbital position is just over 22,000 miles above Earth’s equator.

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On board is a set of instruments that will take high resolution snapshots using different lenses to capture different features.

The GOES-T satellite replaces the current GOES-West satellite which was launched four years ago on this date. This satellite is being moved into a backup role after operators discovered an overheating issue in the main sensor. The same sensor has been upgraded to GOES-T to prevent future issues.

Data from GOES-T will help forecasters better observe things like atmospheric humidity, which is useful for tracking atmospheric river storms and small storm cells that can cause flooding or other severe weather.

Another GOES-T product will help spot wildfires as soon as they start.

“With our imager and our ability to see them and detect them early, we are able to inform decision-makers and managers and let them know,” said GOES Chief of Staff Kevin Fryar.

In the past, forest fires often had to be spotted and reported from the ground. At this point, the fires can already be very large and difficult to control. GOES-T images will help give firefighters a big early warning advantage.

“Eighty percent of these wildfire notifications are a result of National Weather Service forecasters seeing and detecting them in the West,” Fryar said.

A newly improved Geostationary Lightning Mapper on board GOES-T can also locate lightning strikes in the western United States. This can alert forecasters to possible fire hazards as well as potentially severe thunderstorms.

GOES-T will also monitor solar activity and Earth-directed geomagnetic storms. This can help provide an early warning for the potential for widespread cellular data and GPS disruptions and other communication issues.

GOES-T will begin sending images back to Earth in early May. It should become fully operational around this time next year.

For more information on the GOES series of weather satellites, visit official launch site.

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