Satellite imagery from the VISSR (Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer) Atmospheric Sounder (VAS) 6.7-μm water-vapor absorption band is normally available to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in real time (half-hourly intervals, 16 hours a day) through a remote Man-computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) workstation located in the forecast center. Synoptic features that are not readily apparent in “visible” imagery or “11-μm-infrared” imagery are often well defined in the VAS “water-vapor” imagery with the help of special enhancement software that exists on McIDAS. A good example is Hurricane Elena (1985). Its erratic path in the Gulf of Mexico was responsible for the evacuation of nearly a million people in low-lying coastal areas during a three-day period. Imagery from the VAS 6.7-μm water-vapor channel clearly shows the interaction of a midlatitude trough with the hurricane, and supports other evidence that suggests this was responsible for altering Elena's course.
Research Article| 1 March 1987
Satellite Observations of Hurricane Elena (1985) Using the VAS 6.7-μm “Water-Vapor” Channel
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. (1987) 68 (3): 210–215.
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Velden, C. S., 1987: Satellite Observations of Hurricane Elena (1985) Using the VAS 6.7-μm “Water-Vapor” Channel. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 68, 210–215, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1987)068<0210:SOOHEU>2.0.CO;2.
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