NOAA adds to fleet of weather satellites to better weather tracking data

MERRITT ISLAND, F.L. (WITN) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal hurricane season this year.

On Tuesday, NOAA’s fleet of weather satellites just launched a new update with a new weather satellite.

The fourth and final satellite installation of NOAA’s GOES-R—otherwise known as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites Series launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

These series of weather satellites are parked in a geostationary orbit at points over the equator and rotate at the same speed as the Earth.

The new GOES-U satellite addition will continue to provide fast, clear, and reliable weather-tracking information.

GOES-U will provide real-time data for monitoring severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, fog and even lightning. Not only that, it also carries a tool to monitor the sun and warn us of approaching space weather hazards.

Ellen Ramirez, NOAA’s Satellite Mission Operations Manager, says the new update will help better the mission of GOES-U. “It’s at the geostationary altitude so that’s the height at which the satellite moves with the rotation of the earth, such that it images the same location continuously… So what that provides us is the ability for us to watch as systems evolve—it could be severe weather, tornadic outbreaks, fire activity, hurricane generation, and we can get images as frequently as every 30 seconds.”

Now that GOES-U is in orbit—Ramirez says that it will now be renamed as GOES-19.

GOES-19 will watch over most of North America, including the U.S., and New Mexico—as well as the Atlantic Ocean to the West Coast of Africa.

Ramirez also told WITN that the benefits of the new addition can even be seen in ENC. “Tropical storms or hurricanes because that also impacts North Carolina. This is the information that the National Hurricane Association uses to produce their public warnings for when we go into a hurricane watch or warning and that’s how they get that information.”

Though the GOES-R series has officially wrapped up—Ramirez says that NOAA is already working on their next series that is set to launch in 2032.

More information on GOES-U as well as any future NOAA plans can be found on the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.