U.S. Weather Satellite Fails - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

U.S. Weather Satellite Fails

Composite satellite image shows a lack of data from GOES-13 over the east coast of the U.S. (CIMSS) Composite satellite image shows a lack of data from GOES-13 over the east coast of the U.S. (CIMSS)

The primary weather satellite meteorologists use to forecast weather over the eastern United States and the tropical Atlantic Ocean failed late Tuesday… which is bad short term news for weather forecasters.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) geostationary satellite… known as GOES (Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite)-13… experienced trouble with its imaging equipment.

This is bad news with hurricane season on the verge of beginning in the Atlantic… Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season starts June 1.

NOAA is reactivating another satellite… GOES-14… just as the agency did last year when GOES-13 experienced a problem. Officials expect the new satellite to be ready early today. If the backup fails… however… options are greatly reduced.

Geostationary satellites are in orbit 22,238 miles above the equator… which means they orbit at the same speed as the Earth's rotation… keeping them above the same spot on Earth.

GOES satellites are key remote sensing instruments for meteorologists to track weather systems… such as thunderstorms and hurricanes… continuously in space and time.

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