The Reno National Weather Service(NWS) Science Officer, Brian Brong, conducted a 30-minute webinar to brief anyone interested in the new features of the recently launched GEOS-17 weather satellites.
He started out with a short history of the weather satellites that have been placed into orbit and the increases in capability of each generation of satellite.
The GEOS-17 satellite(s) were placed into geosynchronous orbit about 6 months ago and are still undergoing testing trials before being declared fully operational.
One major upgrade that they have is the rate at which weather imagery is produced. The previous generation provided approximately 500 images a day to the NWS personnel. This latest generation will provide 4600 images per day, either visual images or of several different Infrared spectrum views. Images can be generated at 1 minute intervals rather than the previous 5 or 15 minute intervals of previous satellites.
Another increased capability is the detection of lightning – lightning from cloud to cloud or within a cloud, both precursors to lightning cloud to ground. This will increase the NWS ability to predict lightning strikes which could start fires in high-risk conditions.
You can see the GEOS-17 images at the Colorado State University website here.