(KAIT) - A new satellite will be launching into space this weekend that will revolutionize the way meteorologists see and utilize weather data.
GOES-R, a geostationary satellite that has been in planning for ten years, is finally going into orbit in November.
Region 8 News had the opportunity to speak with the deputy director of the National Weather Service, Laura Furgione, about the launch and why this is such a big deal.
"This is a game-changer," said Furgione. "It's really been since the mid-90s that we have had this much of an advancement in our satellite capabilities."
Our current satellite can only take pictures of the continental United States every thirty minutes. GOES-R will allow us to see that same imagery five times as quick and four times as clear.
One meteorologist even described it as putting glasses on when viewing the new satellite picture in comparison to the old.
"We'll be able to have a full scan of the earth every fifteen minutes," said Furgione, "a full scan of the continental United States every five minutes and for storms like Hurricane Matthew, we'll be able to pinpoint and get 30-second imagery from the GOES-R satellite."
With the new capabilities of this satellite, meteorologists will be able to monitor lightning and heavy rainfall from space.
This monitoring, alongside the higher resolution and faster images, will significantly increase our ability to not only forecast but increase warning times in severe weather situations.
"We're 30 days to launch," said Furgione, "so it's an exciting time, we're on the countdown."
And just when you think GOES-R can't possibly get any cooler, the satellite will also be able to monitor solar activity as well as differentiate between volcanic ash, clouds, smoke from wildfires, and snow.
If you want to watch GOES-R launch into orbit, be sure to keep Nov. 19 at 4:42 p.m. marked on your calendars!
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