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Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies / University of Wisconsin-Madison
CIMSS Tropical Cyclone Team
Saharan Air Layer (SAL) - Product Description

GOES RGB Airmass Imagery:
Background: This imagery is created by combining several GOES-East water vapor and IR channels into a single image: 6.2 µm (upper-level water vapor band), 7.3 µm (lower-level water vapor band), 9.6 µm (ozone band) and 11.2 µm (IR longwave window band).
Uses: This merged image can be used to detect moist tropical air masses, the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), mid-latitude air masses, upper-level moisture plumes, and potential vorticity anomalies (i.e., intrusions of stratospheric air in the upper-troposphere).
• The RGB airmass image includes a color legend to aid in the identification of various air masses that are being detected in the scene.
• Because this imagery uses upper-level water vapor and ozone channels, its use is somewhat limited at high satellite viewing angles (i.e., the algorithm does not work as well near the extreme eastern edges of the satellite image).

For more SAL information, please visit the SAL Background Information page.