The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-14, provided its first visible full disk image of Earth on July 27, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The prime instrument on GOES, called the Imager, is taking images of Earth with a 1 kilometer (km) or 0.62 mile resolution from an altitude of 36,000 km (22,240 miles) above Earth’s surface, equivalent to taking a picture of a dime from a distance of seven football fields.
“The first GOES-14 visible full disk image shows little activity in the Atlantic Ocean and two tropical waves located in the East Pacific Ocean with a low probability of becoming a tropical cyclone. Numerous thunderstorms are seen scattered along the east coast and western Atlantic Ocean, with more significant rains and thunderstorms in the southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas area,” remarked Thomas Renkevens, a User Services Coordinator from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, Camp Springs, Md. “NOAA will continue to follow the tropical waves and thunderstorms for possible further development.”
The GOES satellite system aids forecasters in locating severe weather events and is instrumental in providing early warnings for residents located in the surrounding areas. “Being able to predict the path of a hurricane with reasonable certainty and only evacuating the areas at risk saves communities roughly a million dollars per mile,” Renkevens stated.
“This GOES-14 image also shows a mostly cloud-free southwest United States, with a blanket of low clouds along over the Pacific Ocean off the west coast,” stated Renkevens.
The Imager was built by ITT Industries, Inc. in Fort Wayne, Ind.