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WALTER A. LYONS and STEVEN R. PEASE

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Walter A. Lyons and Steven R. Pease

The Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1) launched by NASA in July 1972 has been providing thousands of high resolution multi-spectral images of great interest to geographers, cartographers, hydrologists, agriculturists, etc. The meteorological content of these observations, however, has only been slightly realized. In particular, it has been found possible to detect the long-range (over 50-km) transport of suspected particulate plumes from the Chicago-Gary steel mill complex over Lake Michigan. The observed plumes are readily related to known steel mills, a cement plant, refineries, and fossil- fuel power plants. This has important ramifications when discussing the inter-regional transport of atmospheric pollutants, in this case from the Chicago Interstate to the Southeast Wisconsin Air Quality Control Region. Analysis reveals that the Multispectral Scanner Band 5 (0.6–0.7 μm) provides the best overall contrast between the smoke and the underlying water surface.

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Steven R. Pease, Walter A. Lyons, Cecil S. Keen, and Mark Hjelmfelt

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It is known that Great Lakes snow squall convection occurs in a variety of different modes on various factors such as air-water temperature contrast, boundary layer wind shear and geostrophic wind direction. An exceptional and often neglected source of data for mesoscale cloud studies is the ultrahigh resolution multispectral data produced by Landsat satellites. On 19 0ctober 1972, a clearly defined spiral vortex was noted in a Landsat-1 image near the southern end of Lake Michigan during an exceptionally early cold air outbreak over a still very warm lake. In a numerical simulation using a 3-D Eulerian hydrostatic equation mesoscale model (8 km grid, 36 × 46 × 11), with an initially uniform wind field, a definite analog to the observed vortex was generated. This suggests that intense surface heating can be a principal cause in the development of a low-level mesoscale vortex.

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