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GOES-T Weather Satellite launched into orbit

Will help better forecasts right here in Central Illinois.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 5:05 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News) - NASA in partnership with NOAA launched a brand new weather satellite into orbit on the first day of Meteorological Spring. GOES-T, as it is known now, will take over the GOES-West Position overlooking a large part of the Pacific Ocean, along with parts of the Western United States and U.S. territory islands in the Pacific.

Impacts from this satellite will be felt the world over but especially here in America, meteorologists will be able to use the data that is provided to better forecasts going forward.

“It’s going to have a better detection system of heavy rainfall to give us a hit lead time on flash flood type risks that are going to develop across the area. Earlier warning is going to be available for lightning ground strike hazards. So that’s a huge boost to our, you know, identifying when thunderstorms are becoming more intense.” Said Ed Shimon, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Lincoln Office.

Amongst the advantages that Shimon outlined, the satellite will also offer better fire detection and intensity estimation, better monitoring of smoke and dust, improved air quality warnings and alerts, and improved detection of low clouds and fog.

In the field of meteorology, this satellite will offer great improvements to day-to-day forecasting. Another significant advantage of GOES-T will be its ability to take a sounding, or snapshot, of atmospheric conditions.

“The information is used in our computer models it also satellites provide air mass soundings you know they can tell us the type of information we get from balloon launch.” Said Shimon. These weather balloon launches are done across the country but only in about 90 locations. GOES-T will have the ability to get over the massive meteorological hurdle that is resolution.

Despite launches like these becoming increasingly common, technical achievement should not be understated.

“Launching anything into space takes a tremendous amount of engineering and planning and work to successfully launch them a lot launch a spacecraft into orbit.” Said Renae Kerrigan.

Renae Kerrigan is the Curator of Science and Planetarium Director at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

GOES is an acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. GOES-T, once in its final location about 22,000 miles above Earth, will stay over the exact same location at all times. The satellite will orbit around Earth at the same rate Earth rotates on its axis.

You do not have to be a weather professional to appreciate this new weather satellite. “They do sometimes release really beautiful images people might enjoy looking at some of the images from the satellites just to enjoy our beautiful planet as seen from space.” Said Kerrigan.

GOES-T will become GOES-West in January 2023. The current GOES-West Satellite (launched as GOES-17) will accompany GOES-T as a spare satellite.

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