New US satellite to boost weather forecasts poised to launch

Artist image of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite

Artist image of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite

NOAA will be launching a new weather satellite on Thursday that will change the way meteorologists track the weather in the United States.

The combined target areas mean the two next-generation spacecraft have a almost complete view of the Western Hemisphere with modern tools that capture high-definition images several times faster than legacy weather satellites.

"The GOES-R Series provides advanced imaging, increased resolution and faster coverage for more accurate forecasts, real-time mapping of lightning events and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather", he said.

The launch of the new satellite will be streamed on the FOX31 and Channel 2 Facebook pages.

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It is noted that the satellite will work in tandem with GOES-R, which was successfully launched in November of 2016.

These next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, are "a quantum leap above" the federal agency's previous weather sentinels, Volz said.

The world's most sophisticated weather satellite is due to launch in just a few hours aboard a rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

A satellite scheduled for launch from Florida this week could give firefighters a new tool to fight the wildfires on the West Coast. GOES-16 also observed the uncertain path of Hurricanes Irma and the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria in September.

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GOES-16 proved its value during a dramatic hurricane season in 2017, "proving to be a game-changer with much more refined, higher quality data for faster, more accurate weather forecasts, warnings and alerts", Volz said.

The satellite has since shifted its coverage area to the East Coast.

Once the satellite becomes active later this year, it will read weather, wildfires, fog, storms, cyclones, and every other natural calamity that might hit the Western United States. After about six months at that latitude preparing its instruments and running checks, it will move to its final vantage point over the eastern Pacific Ocean, taking on the official name GOES-West.

Once GOES S is positioned in a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) 22,300 miles above Earth in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES 17. GOES-T is expected to launch in the 2020 timeframe and GOES-U will follow suit around 2024.

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