JPSS Satellite Data Helps Detect Flooding in Minnesota and North Dakota
In April 2020, flood waters rose along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota, resulting in road closures from Minnesota all the way up to the Canadian border.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Grand Forks, North Dakota, used a series of satellite products to determine if any areas were experiencing impactful flooding but were not under current flood warnings.
Using a series of flood map products, including the JPSS VIIRS flood map, they determined that Polk and Marshall counties in Minnesota were indeed experiencing significant flooding but were not under a flood warning.
The imagery was used not only to confirm impactful flooding in these areas, but also to communicate with the public about potential risks in their local areas.
JPSS Satellites Help Understand Ice Formation and Concentration on the Great Lakes
Understanding of ice cover and concentration on the Great Lakes is critical to a number of industries in the region, from water power generation to commercial shipping to fishing. The JPSS satellites provide data that help to forecast and monitor ice formation and concentration on the lakes throughout the winter.
The VIIRS instrument on NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP gathers data that gives scientists and forecasters insight into the surface temperatures on the lakes, helping them understand where and when ice might form.
Additionally, data collected by the ATMS instrument on both satellites is incorporated into a product that shows the amount of area on the lakes covered by ice, also known as lake ice concentration. One of the great benefits of this information is that it isn’t affected by the persistent clouds that are common over the Great Lakes in winter.
The 2020-2021 winter season saw great swings in ice cover on the Great Lakes. Much of the season, from December 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021, saw very low ice cover, except in February when a blast of frigid Arctic air resulted in a rapid but short-lived appearance of ice.
The data from multiple instruments on JPSS satellites helps to better understand and predict ice cover on the Great Lakes, which is helpful for multiple industries that affect citizens’ everyday lives.
Winter Storm in Minnesota Seen by Suomi-NPP
The Suomi NPP satellite captured this true-color image of the massive winter storm that brought snow and high winds to a large part of the upper Mid-West on January 22, 2017. According to several media organizations, the storm’s heavy snows and strong winds caused highway closures, school cancellations, and flight cancellations in regional airports. JPSS instruments provide invaluable data for understanding storms and making forecasts up to five to seven days in advance of a severe weather event.