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New GOES-17 weather satellite sends back first pics from new West Coast position

Full disc image fro the new GOES-17 weather satellite (NOAA image)

Excitement continues to build among meteorologists as our new high-tech weather satellite has just reached another milestone on its way to becoming our full-time source of weather data over the West Coast.

GOES-17 has completed its weeks-long journey to move over the West Coast -- now sitting at its permanent position at 137.2 degrees West some 22,000 miles high in geosynchronous orbit. From this vantage point, Alaska and Hawaii, for one, are getting great satellite coverage on a level they've never had before.

"With its expanded satellite coverage at high latitudes, GOES-17 will provide a significantly clearer view of the state of Alaska, where it will improve our ability to track environmental conditions, such as sea ice, volcanic ash, snow cover and wildfires," according to a press release by NOAA announcing the move.

The new satellite takes pictures at much higher resolutions and much more frequently than the current GOES-15 satellite:

Like this:

And this:

But it's not just Alaska and Hawaii that benefit.

"GOES-17 will also provide more and better data over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, where many weather systems that affect the continental U.S. begin," NOAA said.

Such as monitoring the smoke from the Woolsey Fire burning in Southern California:

Here's the entire area GOES-17 now covers:

The new satellite is expected to go into full operational mode on Dec. 10!

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