A cold arctic air mass moved into the Upper Midwest on September 29-30, 2019, providing extreme cold temperatures for several states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. Along with high winds, the calculated respective wind chills were even lower. Satellite imagery, comprised of JPSS and geostationary data, along with surface and upper air observations are used to demonstrate how cold it was for this portion of the United States. The JPSS Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument Snow Cloud Discriminator product (below) differentiates between snow cover (white), bare ground (dark green), and low (yellow)— to mid (orange—to high (pink) level clouds.
Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS)
South Dakota State University is a partner institution of CISESS. CISESS enhances understanding of how the natural components of the Earth system—atmosphere, ocean, land, and biosphere—interact with human activities. CISESS researchers will use environmental data from JPSS satellites to develop new, more accurate products that help NOAA improve weather and climate forecasts.
JPSS Satellites Observe Atmospheric Instability during Derecho Event
In early June 2020, a rare derecho event swept through the Rockies and the Plains, including Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota.
The derecho caused widespread damage in South Dakota. Sections of Interstate 90, which runs from east to west through the middle of the state, needed to be closed temporarily to deal with construction site damage and vehicle rollovers. Additionally, the derecho spawned at least two tornadoes in South Dakota.
The NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) showed “pronounced instability” in the atmosphere when Suomi NPP overflew South Dakota the afternoon of June 6. NUCAPS uses Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) instrument data from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 to create profiles of temperature, moisture and other factors in the atmosphere. This helps forecasters predict and warn the public about severe weather.
According to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Rapid City, South Dakota, “Derechos are characterized by a several hundred mile long swath of persistent severe wind gusts (58 miles per hour or greater), with embedded wind gusts that are considered significantly severe (75 miles per hour or greater).”