NOAA readies GOES-15 and GOES-14 for orbital storage  

NOAA officials have announced plans to power off the GOES-15 satellite and place it into orbital storage by March 2, 2020. Since late 2018, GOES-15 has operated in tandem with its advanced, newly launched replacement, GOES-17, as a precaution, while engineers worked on technical issues with the loop heat pipe of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), the primary instrument on the satellite. A blockage in the pipe prevented the ABI from cooling properly and hindered its ability to collect data during certain periods and hours of the year. Engineers mitigated the issue through operational changes to the ABI and mission operations, including the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques, to regain capability to collect data during a portion of the affected period. Those efforts have resulted in the GOES-17 ABI delivering more than 97 percent of expected data.

NOAA officials also announced GOES-14, which had been providing supplemental space weather instrument operations, will be powered off and placed in storage on March 2, 2020. GOES-16, perched in the GOES-East orbit, is sending more advanced space weather data to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. Additionally, GOES-17 is providing products in a developmental system for space weather. Having GOES-15 in storage allows GOES-17 to operate with sole coverage of the GOES-West domain, able to see the weather, including storms, fog and wildfires, at high-resolution in the western U.S., Alaska and Hawaii and much of the Pacific Ocean.GOES-15 and GOES-14 can be called back into service if either GOES-17 or GOES-16 experience issues.

NOAA GOES Geostationary Satellite Server
NOAA GOES Geostationary Satellite Server

Western U.S. Water Vapor
(Enhancement 1)

Western U.S. Water Vapor Enhancement 1

Western U.S.
Water Vapor Enhancements

WV Enhancement 1
Western U.S. Water Vapor Enhancement 1
WV Enhancement 2
Western U.S. Water Vapor Enhancement 2

WV Enhancement 3
Western U.S. Water Vapor Enhancement 3
WV Enhancement 4
Western U.S. Water Vapor Enhancement 4

View More Enhanced Imagery & Loops

Meteorologists use color enhanced imagery as an aid in satellite interpretation. The colors enable them to easily and quickly see features which are of special interest. Usually they look for high clouds or areas with a large amount of water vapor.

» Enhancement types

In an infrared (IR) image cold clouds are high clouds, so the colors typically highlight the colder regions. The bar on the right side of the image indicates the pixel brightness values for the corresponding color. The intensity value represents emitted infrared radiation. The intensity of a pixel is recorded as a digital number (for example, in these images the numbers range from 0 to 255.) You can determine temperatures using one of the formulas below:

If B > 176, T = 418 - B; or
if B <= 176, T = 330 - (B/2)

Note that the resulting temperatures are in Kelvin.

To calculate the resulting Kelvin temperature to Fahrenheit: (K - 273.15) x 1.8 + 32.00.

To calculate the resulting Kelvin temperature to Celsius: C = K - 273.

(B = Brightness value; T = Temperature; F = Fahrenheit; C = Celsius)

Note: Imagery and loops on this site are intended for informational purposes only, they are not considered "operational". This web site should not be used to support operational observation, forecasting, emergency, or disaster mitigation operations, either public or private. In addition, we do not provide weather forecasts on this site — that is the mission of the National Weather Service. Please contact them for any forecast questions or issues.