NOAA GOES-13 Satellite

Monday - 4/19/2010, 11:26am EDT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-13 spacecraft has become the official GOES-EAST satellite, now perched some 22,300 miles above the equator; a prime location to spot potentially life-threatening weather affecting the eastern half of the nation, including tropical storm activity in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA officials say, just in time for the 2010 hurricane season, they now have one of the newest and most technologically advanced satellites closely tracking storms - from when they develop to when they dissipate.

The GOES-13 satellite replaced GOES-12, which NOAA is shifting to provide coverage for South America, as part of the Global Earth Observation System. GOES-13, launched in May 2006, is the first of three new NOAA geostationary environmental satellites in orbit.