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WATCH: NASA Next-Generation Weather Satellite GOES-R Set For Saturday Launch

If you want a good view of your local weather right now, all you you have to do is look out the window. But if you want to know what’s coming your way in near real time, the most powerful set of weather eyes ever is set to launch into orbit this weekend!

The GOES-R Series is NOAA’s next-generation Geostationary weather satellites. The first will be GOES-16, able to use it’s ABI, or Advanced Baseline Imager, to scan the Western Hemisphere as often as every 30 seconds! This will get data to NOAA five times faster with four times the resolution… more accurately than ever before. That means quicker observations of severe storms, smoke and volcanic ash.

But WAIT, there’s more! GOES-R packs a GLM too. That’s the Geostationary Lightning Mapper. It measures cloud to ground strikes, but will also track the lightning activity in the the clouds charging the atmosphere. For years researchers have discovered that increased lightning activity may be a predictor for tornado formation. With the new GLM, forecasters have another incredible tool to help warn us earlier.

This awesome new technology means National Weather Service forecasters have new tools to help predict big weather events like hurricanes, so we get faster forecasts to help emergency managers to prepare our communities better than ever, before the storms strike.

GOES-R will also give us a much better heads up for Space Weather threats. In conjunction with other NOAA satellites, we’ll have better updates on radiation hazards from the sun that can interfere with communications and navigation systems, damage satellites, threaten astronauts and power utilities.

It’s been more than 40 years since NOAA’s first launch and now from 22,300 miles above the Earth, the new GOES-R system will be the biggest advance in weather monitoring in history!

For WeatherNation: John Van

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