In July 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made data from its newest weather observation satellite provisionally available to commercial providers. Called GOES-16, the satellite is a marvel of remote sensing technology, equipped with an advanced suite of instruments—including a clever science package called the Advanced Baseline Imager—that allows it to monitor earth and space weather with an unprecedented level of precision. All with the purpose of improving hurricane, thunderstorm and flood forecasting, aviation flight route planning, air quality warnings and more.
Now, forecasters can view, in near real-time, the formation of convective events that often lead to thunderstorms and tornadoes. Tropical weather events can be monitored with more precision while still far offshore. In fact, any weather event affecting the population can now be analyzed with enhanced detail and more frequent updates.
Baron is making GOES-16 imagery for Visible, Infrared and Water Vapor available initially. The data is provided in nationwide scale, as well as in higher-resolution sectors. Two additional sets of data products are provided for more specific areas of interest. NOAA adjusts these daily, spotlighting areas around the country where weather is expected to be the most eventful.
To be sure, the job isn’t done. GOES-16’s orbit will later be shifted eastward, where it will be stationed for the rest of its expected lifetime. Work also remains on bringing the satellite to full operational status, and on the part of providers like Baron to deliver more data products to end users. But when it comes to GOES-16, the sky really is the limit.
More information on GOES-16 is available at www.goes-r.gov.