An old phrase says if you want to know what the weather is like, just look out the window.
Or, you can sit back and be wowed by these swirling orbital images from the GOES-16 (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite), a groundbreaking new weather-tracking satellite recently deployed into geostationary orbit above our beautiful planet Earth.
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched this advanced weather observatory on November 19, strapped to the top of a sturdy United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. It's one of four new cutting-edge instruments that will furnish scientists and meteorologists with some of the most hi-resolution images of our complex global weather patterns ever viewed.
"This is such an exciting day for NOAA! One of our GOES-16 scientists compared this to seeing a newborn baby's first pictures — it's that exciting for us," said Stephen Volz, director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. "These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth. The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing lifesaving forecasts."
Behold these breathtaking new HD images taken by GOES-16's Advanced Baseline Imager, capturing sections of the Western Hemisphere at four times the image resolution as those taken by the last generation of GOES craft. Detailed imagery such as these stunning shots will allow weather experts to make more accurate predictions for not only everyday forecasts but violent meteorological events such as lightning storms, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Bundle up and bring an umbrella just in case!