May 27, 2020

Stunning Satellite Image on a Nearly Clear Day

The new GOES weather satellite produces stunning images and today's pictures are particularly noteworthy. 

Here is an image at 1:26 PM today (Wednesday), showing off the full-color capabilities of the satellite.


The still considerable snow over the higher elevations of the Cascades really stands out, as does the glaciers/snow on the volcanic peaks and the Olympics.  Stunning.


And look closely at the image around Portland and northern Oregon.   A whole collection of jet contrails are apparent (see blow up below).  If we were in normal times, there would be a lot more of them.


Another thing that is striking is the huge amount of farmland in eastern Washington and northern Oregon, with much of it irrigated. Immense acreage.  And the irrigated areas actually cool the atmosphere because of all the water that is evaporated from the moist surfaces.


And finally, one can view the large amount of brown sediment around the Fraser River delta near Vancouver, Canada.


The imagery is particularly vivid because of the very, very clean air over us right now.  Take a deep breath...you can tell.  And the excellent quality of the air is reflected in the low levels of particulates , as illustrated by the PM2.5 levels at Aberdeen (on the coast), Seattle, and Spokane (see below) from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency site.


Tomorrow will be nearly perfect across the region with mid to upper 70s across much of the State, clean air, and unlimited sun....enjoy.

10 comments:

  1. stunning photo(s) I noticed the industrial pavement south from lake washington down the green river valley. As a child this was a green paradise,

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    Replies
    1. Can you imagine how beautiful this place was 200 years ago, before our presence spread its cancer all over the land?

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  2. Have you ever spoken to the contrails as a weather factor? At times I can count as many as 15 - 18 at one time in the sky. And with breaks in the clouds sometimes see them above the cloud cover. It seems like this would impact weather forecasting but I never hear anything from the weather people.

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  3. You say that irrigation in eastern Washington has a cooling effect. I understand that evaporation is endothermic and therefore the process of evaporation itself has a cooling effect. But I also understand that molecule for molecule water is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So isn't the net effect of irrigation to warm, rather than cool, the area? Or am I missing something important? Thanks for all the interesting information you share, truly wonderful!

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  4. And you gotta wonder what % of pollution comes from those contrails!

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    Replies
    1. It's an inconsequential amount - less than 2% of the total. I guess people see those contrails and think it's smoke or something. Basically, it's just steam, caused by the jet's hot exhaust coming in contact with the extremely cold air up there.

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  5. Clean air, beautiful sky and topography-really beautiful, Cliff.

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  6. Yes, Cliff, really beautiful- but another midweek sunny spell, and we seem to be on tap for a third consecutive rainy weekend! It would seem like this time of year, such a thing ought to be statistically very unlikely, yet I have seen it happen a number of times. Perhaps you could explain this in your radio spot tomorrow morning. Can it be that the weather cycles have a period of 6-7 days this time of year, and us working stiffs are just out of luck with the phase? Please tell us that Sunday will be nice, thanks...

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