VIIRS Day/Night Band: nocturnal detection of wildfire smoke aloft

September 26th, 2012 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band, 11.45 µm IR, and IR difference "fog/stratus product" images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band, 11.45 µm IR, and IR difference “fog/stratus product” images

A comparison of AWIPS images of Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band, 11.45 µm IR, and IR difference “fog/stratus product” data (above) revealed that the Day/Night Band (DNB) can be used for nocturnal detection of dense layers of wildfire smoke aloft (in this case, over parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska). The brighter DNB signal of the elevated smoke layer was not correlated with any features seen on either the IR image or the fog/stratus product image at 08:04 UTC (2:04 AM  local time) on 26 September 2012.

The MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) product (below) showed that high ADO values were found over that region during the afternoon hours (20 UTC) on 25 September. Forward trajectories from the IDEA-I site indicated that the majority of this smoke would be drifting slowly eastward.

MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) product

MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD) product

The hazy signal of this veil of smoke aloft could also be seen on GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images late in the day on 25 September and again early in the day on 26 September (below), when the sun angle was low to help highlight the presence of the smoke.

GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images

GOES-14 0.63 µm visible channel images

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