The GOES-R weather satellite, the “next-generation” of weather satellite technology, is scheduled to launch on Saturday, November 19 at 5:42 PM EST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Meteorologists have been excited about the this launch for years, as it will greatly expand what we can see on Earth, in the atmosphere, and in space.
From storms to volcanic ash to solar flares, this satellite will provide thirty-four different measurements, with detailed views we have never seen before. Once the satellite goes thorough in-orbit testing, we’re scheduled to see the first wave of data made available in about six months, with another thirty-one measurements expected in about a year.
It’s the first of a series of new weather satellites that will launch between now and 2024, replacing current weather satellites that are at or near the end of their designed lifespans.
The data comes in more often, too. For example, simple satellite images that we may get every 15-30 minutes now…we’ll be able to see EVERY MINUTE. We’re expecting about 40 times more data than what we’re receiving now.
What does this mean for you? It means forecasters have a better look at everything that can affect our weather. This will eventually mean better forecasts, with more accurate and timely information in tines of severe weather.