Satellite imagery has become more and more precise. In the US meteorological community, the workhorses of that imagery are the GOES satellites. GOES –G O E S - stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. Geostationary means that the satellite’s orbit matches that of the Earth, so it remains in the same spot above the planet. According to NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan on the launch of GOES-16 in 2017, “GOES-R’s instruments will be capable of scanning the planet five times faster and with four times more resolution than any other satellite in our fleet. With these new instruments and powerful new capabilities, GOES-R will strengthen NOAA’s ability to issue life-saving forecasts and warnings and make the United States an even stronger, more resilient Weather-Ready Nation.” GOES 17 was launched earlier this year. The recent images of Florence show GOES-16 is living up to the promise.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library