PyroCumulonimbus cloud in Colorado

June 9th, 2018 |

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, right) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed the formation of a small pyroCumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud spawned by the 416 Fire in southwestern Colorado on 09 June 2018. A Mesoscale Domain Sector was positioned over the region, providing images at 1-minute intervals.

On Shortwave Infrared imagery, the thermal anomaly or “hot spot” appeared as a large cluster of red pixels — and the top of the pyroCb cloud took on a darker gray appearance than nearby high-altitude ice crystal clouds (due to enhanced solar reflectance off the smaller ice crystals of the pyroCb anvil). On 10.3 µm imagery, cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures cooled to around -50ºC (bright yellow enhancement) as the pyroCb drifted northeastward.

NOAA-19 AVHRR Visible (0.63 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images, with plots of 22 UTC surface reports [click to enlarge]

NOAA-19 AVHRR Visible (0.63 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images, with plots of 22 UTC surface reports [click to enlarge]

On 1-km resolution NOAA-19 AVHRR Infrared Window (10.8 µm) imagery at 22:07 UTC (above), the minimum cloud-top brightness temperature was -53ºC — this temperature roughly corresponded to an altitude of 11.6 km according to 00 UTC rawinsonde data from Grand Junction, Colorado (below).

Plots of rawinsonde data from Grand Junction, Colorado [click to enlarge]

Plots of rawinsonde data from Grand Junction, Colorado [click to enlarge]


TransCanada pipeline explosion and fire in West Virginia

June 7th, 2018 |

GOES-16 Near-Infrared

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm, left), Near-Infrared “Cloud Particle Size” (2.24 µm, center) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, right) images; Interstate Highways are plotted in red, with State Highways in cyan [click to play animation | MP4]

An explosion and fire occurred along a TransCanada natural gas pipeline in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County, West Virginia on 07 June 2018. A thermal signature of the fire was seen in 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) beginning at 0817 UTC (4:17 am Eastern Time). The fire signature was no longer apparent after 0927 UTC (5:27 am Eastern Time).

Wildfires in New Mexico

June 1st, 2018 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and GOES-16 Fire Temperature Product at 0332 UTC on 1 June 2018 (Click to enlarge)

The toggle above shows the 3.9 µm brightness temperature over New Mexico at 0332 UTC on 1 June and the GOES-16 Fire Temperature Derived Product. Two areas of fires are apparent, one in the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, and one in northeast New Mexico (The Ute Park fire), in a region of extreme drought (Linked image from the US Drought Monitor).

At night, as above, the location of a smoke plume can be difficult to discern. Real Earth now includes (under the ‘Fires’ folder) tiles of the HRRR Surface Smoke Forecast, as shown below in 1-hour time increments between 0600 and 1200 UTC on 1 June.

HRRR Surface Smoke Forecast, 0600-1200 UTC on 1 June 2018 (Click to animate)

The excellent temporal resolution of GOES-16 allows for close monitoring of fires. The Ute Park fire is shown below in 3.9 µm imagery, and its evolution during the night is apparent.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) Imagery, 0302 UTC – 1542 UTC on 1 June 2018 (Click to animate)

During the day, visible imagery is available to track smoke plumes. The “Blue Band” visible imagery, below (0.47 µm), from GOES-16 suggests the smoke plume from the Ute fire extends into Kansas.

GOES-16 Visible (0.47 µm) Imagery, 1237 – 1547 UTC (Click to animate)

More information on the Ute Park fire is here and here.

PyroCb in Ontario, Canada

May 22nd, 2018 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images (above) showed that Canadian wildfires burning along the Manitoba/Ontario border produced a pyroCumulonimbus (pyroCb) around 1930 UTC on 22 May 2018.

As the pyroCb moved southeastward over western Ontario, the coldest GOES-16 cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures were around -55ºC (orange enhancement), which corresponded to altitudes of about 10.3 to 10.8 km according the rawinsonde data from Pickle Lake, Ontario (below).

Rawinsonde data profiles from Pickle Lake, Ontario [click to enlarge]

Rawinsonde data profiles from Pickle Lake, Ontario [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of 1-km resolution NOAA-19 Visible (0.63 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images at 2210 UTC (below), the minimum cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -58.1ºC (darker orange enhancement), which roughly corresponded to altitudes of 10.6 to 11.0 km (just below the tropopause) on the Pickle Lake soundings.

NOAA-19 Visible (0.63 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to enlarge]

NOAA-19 Visible (0.63 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.7 µm) and Infrared Window (10.8 µm) images [click to enlarge]