GOES-16 and GOES-13 Water Vapor Imagery of Winter Storm
This water vapor imagery from February 9, 2017, shows the early stages of a developing winter storm along the East Coast as seen by both GOES-16 (left) and GOES-13 (right). The current GOES imager only has one mid-level water vapor band, while the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on GOES-16 has three. This allows ABI to capture water vapor features and atmospheric motion within more layers of the atmosphere, which helps numerical weather prediction models better depict of the current state of the atmosphere, and leads to better forecasts of storm development and movement.
Also note the finer spatial resolution of ABI band (approximately 2 km) as compared to the imager aboard GOES-13 (approximately 4 km). The fine detail of small-scale mountain waves can be seen in the ABI data, but not in the current GOES images. Similarly, a post-cold-frontal trough can be seen offshore in the imagery from GOES-16, but not in the GOES-13 imagery.
Note: This is preliminary, non-operational data as GOES-16 undergoes on-orbit testing.
See animation of this image at youtu.be/phLUzQMtSr8
Original image source: www.goes-r.gov/multimedia/goes-16DataAndImagery.html