Valley Fog

Early Thursday morning the sky was clear and river valleys had some thick fog. The sky was clear and as the sun came up we were able to see the fog on a visible satellite image from GOES16.



Posted under Fog, GOES

This post was written by Schnack on August 30, 2018

Smoke and Fog

The clouds over Iowa may pop a stray shower or storm this afternoon. The smoke to our west is not moving much. The smoke in Minnesota is moving south. Expect a smoky sky through the weekend. Smoke is from wildfires in western Canada.

Areas of fog this morning in eastern Iowa.


Posted under Fire, Fog, GOES

This post was written by Schnack on August 10, 2018

A view from above and below

Here is a look at the cumulus clouds seen from the GOES-16 Satellite compared to what they look like from the ground on our KWWL Storm Track 7 Live Weather Network camera in Dubuque.


Posted under GOES

This post was written by Schnack on July 17, 2018

In the Atlantic

Here is a look at what you can see from GOES-16 Monday afternoon. There is a tropical storm off the southeast coast. Chris is forecast to strengthen to a category 1 hurricane as it moves northeast. It is forecast to then weaken in the north Atlantic by Saturday over the colder waters. The storm will remain off the east coast. The other feature is over Puerto Rico. It is the remnants of Beryl. The other feature is the light brown shading representing dust from the Sahara Desert.


Posted under GOES

This post was written by Schnack on July 9, 2018

GOES East Images

GOES East, or what was GOES16, is an AMAZING satellite. It can see so many things in such detail. Here are just a few images from the last 2 days.

Starting with this image. It shows Africa on the right side of the image and the United States on the left. You can see the dust from the Sahara Desert in the light brown color. It was moving west in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

The next image is a different channel and is able to see where the hot spots are from wildfires. The wildfires on this image show up as black spots.

This image is really cool. It was captured Thursday morning. It clearly shows the river valley fog in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The last image is from Friday afternoon. The smoke in central Iowa was moving east and was over eastern Iowa during the evening. The smoke originated from the wildfires mentioned above in the mountains to our west.


Posted under GOES

This post was written by Schnack on June 29, 2018


In the panhandle of Texas, about 30 miles southeast of Amarillo, was a large wildfire Friday. The Texas Forest Service said about 34,000 acres were burning. The image below shows where the fire was through a channel on the GOES16. It shows the “hot spot”. The red spot on the map is the wildfire.

This next image shows the wildfire and now a severe thunderstorm to the east/northeast of the fire. The fire was so intense, and with just the right conditions, it produced a severe storm.

This next image shows the same area. This is a different channel on the GOES16 than the images above. The fire shows up as a black color. The severe thunderstorm is again to the east/northeast. This image also shows all of the lightning strikes in this storm.

Here is a time-lapse of the smoke from the fire and the storm developing overhead.


Thunderstorm clouds are call cumulonimbus clouds. This thunderstorm cloud is called pyrocumulonimbus. I have also heard it called a fire cloud. In Latin pyro means “fire” and cumulus means “heap or pile”. Pyrocumulus clouds can form over large wild fires and if intense enough can develop into a thunderstorm getting the name pyrocumulonimbus.

The intense heat from the fire produces rapidly rising air. This rising air pulls in cooler air from outside. It cools and condenses as it rises. The pressure lowers as you go up in the atmosphere. If the air rises fast enough you can get a thunderstorm like the one that occurred on Friday. These thunderstorms could be dangerous because the lightning it produces could spark another wildfire. In addition to that,  as the storm weakens the downdraft could spread the flames.




Posted under Fire, GOES

This post was written by Schnack on May 11, 2018

Fire seen from GOES16

There was a brush fire near Prairieburg earlier this afternoon. The GOES image shows the hot spot from the fire. The pink area in the green outline is where the fire was. Click here to get more information about the fire.

The image below shows two other fires flare up shortly after the image above.

Here is another look at the three fires using a different channel of the satellite. The image is also zoomed in with counties outline to get a better idea of the fire locations.

The map below shows another hot spot (brush fire) SW of Fairfax. The black area in the red outline is the fire. Notice the gusty northwest wind from eastern Iowa Airport in the red circle. The numbers plotted on the map at the airport represent the temperature (74) and dew point (35). The dew point is very low and that tells us the air is very dry. Elevated fire danger has been a concern all day with wind gusts of 40-45 mph and a lot of dry grass still.

In addition to the satellite the dual pol radar


Posted under Fire, GOES

This post was written by Schnack on April 27, 2018

GOES-S Set to launch this week

The second in a series of upgraded satellites is set to launch this week. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (or GOES-S) has a launch date of March 1, 2018.

GOES-S will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Once in orbit, it will be known as GOES-17 / GOES West. Click the image below for animation

It will work with GOES East (also known as GOES-16 and formally known as GOES-R) to provide satellite and other weather information for the United States. This will be especially useful to keep an eye on the different types of weather the western portions of the country experience. We will be able to see storms in the eastern Pacific Ocean better that could cause catastrophic damage in higher quality.

For more information on GOES-S and the satellite series, click here and click here.
Follow NASA’s blog on the GOES satellites by clicking here.


Posted under GOES, NASA, NOAA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on February 28, 2018

Snow vs No Snow

It’s been a snowy first half of February across not only eastern Iowa, but the entire state.  The melting process has begun, with temperatures in the 30s and 40s.

There’s also several inches of snow across the state, which is keeping these temperatures cooler than what they would be if we had no snow on the ground.  Radiation from the sun bounces off the snow and take that energy back up to the atmosphere (known as ‘albedo’), which limits warming over snow-pack.

Notice in northern Missouri, temperatures are in the 50s, to near 60°, with little to no snow on the ground.  Also, there’s even clouds in southern Iowa and northern Missouri, limiting the heating in that region.

Here is a satellite picture that was taken during full sunshine on Tuesday, February 13.  You can the entire state of Iowa covered in snow.  The rivers show up nicely.

When we look at the satellite view Friday, A lot of the snow across the state of Iowa will be melted.


Posted under GOES-16, Temperatures, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on February 14, 2018

Clear and Cloudy

Parts of northeast Iowa are clear this evening. The blue shading on this image is cloud cover.


Posted under GOES-R

This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2018