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JetStream - An Online School for Weather

Although not yet operational, data from NOAA's GOES-16 satellite proved vital in forecasting operations for Hurricane Maria as it neared Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.

Radar in San Juan went out at 5:50 a.m. EDT, just before Maria made landfall on the island. Land-based radar is used during storms to provide detailed information on hurricane wind fields, rain intensity, and storm position and movement. With this critical technology disabled and a major hurricane approaching, forecasters were able to utilize data from NOAA's latest geostationary satellite, GOES-16, to track the storm in real-time.

GOES-16 is able to scan a targeted area of severe weather as often as every 30 seconds, a capability not available with current GOES. This rapid scanning rate is allowing forecasters to analyze cloud patterns and track Maria in real time. GOES-16 also has three times more channels than the current GOES imager, providing better estimates of the structure of tropical cyclones and their environments. The four-fold improvement in resolution from GOES-16 provides greater accuracy of feature attributes, allowing for better characterization of the eyes of hurricanes.

Welcome to JetStream, the National Weather Service Online Weather School. This site is designed to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety.

The information contained in JetStream is arranged by subject; beginning with global and large scale weather patterns followed by lessons on air masses, wind patterns, cloud formations, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, damaging winds, tornados, tropical storms, cyclones and flooding. Interspersed in JetStream are "Learning Lessons" which can be used to enhance the educational experience.

You are free to use the materials in any manner you wish. We welcome your feedback on this project. Your input will greatly assist others in teaching the "hows" and "whys" of weather. Not sure where to begin? Click to see all topics in JetStream in the Topic Matrix.