NOAA's GOES-R weather satellite transmitted images of a winter storm moving into the D.C. region on March 14. The GOES-R was launched into space in November 2016. (NOAA)

NOAA’s new weather satellite keeps giving me new things to get excited about. This week, it was striking visuals of the Northeast blizzard.

In the satellite loop above, the clouds (moisture) are represented by whites and blues. Dry air is red and orange. You can watch as the storm strengthens while on its trek up the East Coast.

GOES-16 data has a significantly higher resolution than its predecessors, meaning meteorologists can see more storm detail, and (perhaps more importantly) the forecast models will have far better data to work with. Better data in = better forecasts out.

You can see for yourself difference between the satellites currently in use and the new model below. If you’re interested in the 32-megabyte GIF of the loop above, shoot me an email!


On the right, an image from GOES-13 and on the left, the first public image from GOES-16, both taken Jan. 15. (NOAA/NASA)

Note from NOAA: GOES-16 data are currently experimental and under-going testing and hence should not be used operationally.