GOES Upper-Level Water Vapor Imagery:
This imagery is created using the 6.2 µm channel on the GOES-East satellite.
This infrared upper-level water vapor band is sensitive to both temperature and
water vapor in the atmosphere and has a weighting function that peaks at ~340 hPa.
Weighting functions describe the layer of the atmosphere from which the radiation
measured by a particular satellite channel was emitted. The weighting function
for the 6.2 µm channel is fairly broad and typically detects temperature and
water vapor in a layer from ~200-600 hPa.
This imagery is useful for tracking upper-level water vapor features such as
tropical cyclone outflow layers and cold lows and can also be used for estimating
mid- to upper-level atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs).
• Due to the elevated weighting function of the 6.2 µm channel,
low- to mid-level atmospheric features (e.g., the Saharan Air Layer) may not be
readily detectable using this imagery.
For more SAL information, please visit the
SAL Background Information