TULSA, Okla. - The FOX23 Severe Weather Team got a boost in giving you the best forecast thanks to a new satellite.
Satellite data is critical to weather forecasts and the nation's latest and greatest weather satellite is called GOES-16. After undergoing tests over the last year, it's now fully operational and gives meteorologists clearer, crisper images of clouds and a wealth of information to improve forecasts.
"It's actually going to be a game-changer in many ways for the weather industry. It provides us three times the number of products, four times the resolution and five times the update speed of the old system," said Steven Cobb, National Weather Service Tulsa Science and Operations officer.
The data was already put to good use when FOX23 tracked Hurricane Harvey and Irma that hit the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean a few months ago.
Cobb said the GOES-16 will also offer plenty of useful data during the winter months too.
"In the wintertime, that's especially important because we know that some of the convective bands provide us the heaviest snowfall rates," Cobb said. "Sometimes several inches per hour rates in those bands and lightning will give us that extra piece of information we've been missing."
GOES-16 covers the central and eastern United States, along with most of the Atlantic Ocean. A second satellite to cover the western half of North America and the eastern Pacific Ocean is set to launch in March.
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