GOES-17 late September update: schedule to operational status!

GOES-17 satellite artist image

GOES-17’s imager is scheduled to be commissioned in December 2018, or shortly thereafter. Image courtesy: NOAA

Hello everyone,

Today, NOAA/NWS released the schedule for transitioning GOES-West from GOES-15 to GOES-17. Here’s the timetable:

GOES-17 will start drifting west on October 24, and then be in position on November 13 at 135 degrees west longitude. As this happens, the operational GOES-West satellite, GOES-15, drifts to 128 degrees west. And, little data will be available from GOES-17.

On November 15, test GOES-17 data will resume. There will then be three more weeks of diagnostic testing, and if all is well, on or after December 10, it will be commissioned and become GOES-West. They might need additional weeks to test the satellite, so it’s operational status could be delayed a few more weeks after that.

Now, here’s something I want to emphasize, and you won’t like it, so put on your frowny-frowny face: this commissioning only affects the imager. Unfortunately, other channels will likely have to wait until sometime early next year before they can be commissioned, and data can be sent. That data is still under product evaluation and tweaking, and it takes longer to do that. The good news is that lightning data will probably start to be sent at or before the spring of 2019, meaning that if all GOES well (see what I did there?), it will be ready for the next severe weather season. Furthermore, its two mesoscale sectors can be placed in the central Plains if there’s nothing going on elsewhere out west. You’ll be GOesing nuts (OK, I’ll stop now) with all of the great imagery and data!

And when GOES-17 is commissioned, yes, AllisonHouse will carry all that data (I mean, it’s against who we are to do otherwise!). From the Philippines to far west Africa, you’ll be able to see it all as it happens every 15 minutes with 2 KM resolution on the visible channels (and in the U.S., every 5 minutes, with 1/4 KM visible channel resolution).

The golden age of weather satellites is now upon us. Take a deep breath, and jump right in with both feet with AllisonHouse! Oh, and if you want to see this data at full resolution (and who doesn’t!), hop on board with AllisonHouse Maps. Right now you can see GOES-16 in all of its stunning glory, and we’ll add the data from its slightly younger brother, GOES-17, as soon as we have the data. You can do that by subscribing to our Storm Hunter package, which is a steal for what you get. And you can get Storm Hunter right here:



What’s your hurricane plan?

Hurricane Florence visible satellite image

A visible shot of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic south-southwest of Bermuda late in the afternoon on September 11, 2018 from GOES-16 (East). With 140 MPH winds, this dangerous category 4 hurricane might get even stronger. Are you ready for a hurricane in your area? Image courtesy: AllisonHouse Maps

As I type this, we have numerous tropical storms and hurricanes going on in the Atlantic and the Pacific, with one trying to get going south of the Gulf of Mexico that could impact the U.S. this weekend. Furthermore, don’t forget Hawaii: Olivia could dump 5″ to as much as 15″ of rain there:

Kauai County joins tropical storm warning; Olivia speeds faster toward isles

But, of course, all eyes are on the monster that is Florence. It’s forecast to hit the southern North Carolina coast, and then drift aimlessly for a few days, caught in near non-existent steering currents aloft. This could produce catastrophic flooding across portions of the Carolinas and areas nearby.

So, with hurricane watches up, and with more storms coming, are you ready in case you live along the Gulf coast, or other parts of the Atlantic? Here are some quick tools to help you in case you are in the crosshairs of nature’s fury from the sea this season.

First, what evacuation zone are you in. Check here:


Do you have a basic disaster kit ready to go? Here’s a nice simple checklist:


When you evacuate, how will you communicate if your family becomes separated, or if people are left behind? Do you have a meeting place in case things go wrong? Figure that out NOW. Write it down. That way, you’ll remember in the heat of the moment.

We want to stress that THE source for official hurricane information is through http://www.nhc.noaa.gov, the U.S. National Hurricane Center web site. However, AllisonHouse Maps, and placefiles, lets you take that information and plot it over radar, satellite, surface observations, lighting, and so much more, giving you a complete picture of what is happening! It’s your own “war room”, allowing you to see everything as meteorologists at the National Weather Service (NWS) see it, all updating automatically as soon is at is sent by the NWS, and received at our data center location. By the way, that “delay” is in *milliseconds*.

So, stay safe with the National Weather Service and AllisonHouse. We’re a team that will let you know and see what is happening, with a front row chair of it all. If you’re not a Maps subscriber, one of the things we’re really proud of is that we get the full resolution satellite feed from GOES-16 (and soon from GOES-17) that is the raw, pure feed and the very best that you can get, and all updated in real or near real-time! For you big-time weather enthusiasts, we have AWIPS 2 CAVE for you to see everything as if you are sitting in a National Weather Service forecast office workstation. Check out our front page for links on what can best serve you: http://www.allisonhouse.com

Please stay safe this hurricane season, with the National Weather Service, and your partners here at AllisonHouse!

An August GOES-17 update, and some good news

GOES-17 satellite artist image

GOES-17 ABI (visible, IR and water vapor channel) data will become available for testing by the end of August. Artist imagery courtesy: NOAA

Hello everyone,

The cooling problems with GOES-17 have been well-documented in this blog. But the *quality* of the images has always been just as good as GOES-16. The problem is, during the spring and fall equinoxes and around that time, there will be 2-4 hours of missing infrared/water vapor channel data at night. Even so, the quality and the amount of imagery will far surpass that of GOES-15, our current western satellite. See my previous entries for all of the details on data loss late at night for portions of the year.

However, because the imagery itself checks out to be of excellent quality like it’s GOES-16 sister, NOAA/NESDIS has informed AllisonHouse that it will send preliminary, non-operational ABI sensor data starting on August 28, at 15:30Z (10:30 AM Central Time) via the GOES-Rebroadcast (GRB) feed, and between 17Z-18Z (Noon-1 PM) for the National Weather Service Satellite Broadcast Network (SBN, aka NOAAport). This includes all visible, IR, and “water vapor” channels!

Now, before you start drooling here, a couple of notes. Once the data starts flowing, it needs to flow to us, and it might not immediately; like GOES-16, the data set is massive and requires a ton of bandwidth, and examination. Second, our ace programmer Ryan Hickman spent 24 hours with no sleep getting GOES-16 on our website as soon as we got the data, but this time, I think he’ll actually eat and sleep when he finally does get the data. 🙂 Remember, GOES-17 is not over the western U.S. (it’s now at 89.5 degrees west) and there’s not much of our part of the hemisphere right now that isn’t covered already by GOES-16. So, during the testing phase, there will be a very large amount of overlap between the two satellites.

All of this to say: we’ll have GOES-17 data up and running before it becomes operational, as soon as reasonably possible, and again: once it is up and running at AllisonHouse, we’ll let you know. Once running, we do expect outages as they test things out on the NOAA side of things, as happened with GOES-16.

Having said that, I’m excited about the new satellite, and I hope you are, too! This satellite should still be much better than GOES-15, in spite of its difficulties for up to 4 hours at night with the ABI data. And, be sure to like our Facebook page for up-to-the-minute updates when we add the data to AllisonHouse Maps!

Post updated on 8/27 to show the updated times for data release to the public on NOAA’s data circuits.