Paper mill fire in New Jersey

January 30th, 2019 |

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm, top), Near-Infrared “Cloud Particle Size” (2.24 µm, center) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface observations [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm), Near-Infrared “Cloud Particle Size” (2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (above) displayed thermal signatures from a large fire at the Marcal Paper Mill in Elmwood Park, New Jersey during the evening hours of 30 January 2019. The fire reportedly began around 2215 UTC or 5:15 PM local time — and during the subsequent hours, strong winds with very cold temperatures (falling to the single digits above zero F) in the wake of a cold frontal passage hampered the firefighting efforts. Note on the plots of surface observations that smoke (K) was reported immediately downwind of the fire at Teterboro Airport (station identifier KTEB) from 02 to 05 UTC.

The nighttime thermal signatures seen on the near-infrared 1.61 µm and 2.24 µm images (brighter white pixels) result from the fact that those two ABI spectral bands are located close to the peak emitted radiance of very hot features such as volcanic eruptions or large fires (below).

Plots of Spectral Response Functions for ABI Bands 5, 6 and 7 [click to enlarge]

Plots of Spectral Response Functions for ABI Bands 5 (1.61 µm), 6 (2.24 µm) and 7 (3.9 µm) [click to enlarge]

The thermal signature of the fire became less distinct in GOES-16 imagery after about 06 UTC, but was still well-defined in higher-resolution VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) imagery (below) from NOAA-20 (overpass data acquired at 0614 and 0754 UTC) and Suomi NPP (overpass data acquired at 0704 UTC).

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from NOAA-20 (at 0614 and 0754 UTC) and Suomi NPP (at 0704 UTC) [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from NOAA-20 (at 0614 and 0754 UTC) and Suomi NPP (at 0704 UTC) [click to enlarge]

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