Widespread Smoke in the Pacific Northwest

September 6th, 2017 |

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

Dry weather over the Pacific Northwest (and over Idaho and Montana) has created an ideal environment lately for wildfires, and much of the region is shrouded in smoke from those fires as shown in the Suomi NPP True Color Imagery, above, from this site.  Note the red points that are Suomi-NPP-detected fires; they persist from day to day, and some grow in size during the course of the animation. GOES-16 Animations of True Color (in this case, the CIMSS Natural True Color product that is created using Bands 1, 2 and 3 (0.47 µm, 0.64 µm and 0.86 µm, respectively)), below, (also available here; a similar product from CIRA is available here), show the pall of smoke as well. Air Quality Alerts from the National Weather Service were widespread on 6 September.

CIMSS Natural True Color, every 15 minutes, from 1400-2130 UTC on 6 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 has multiple channels and products that can view both the Smoke and the Fires that produce the smoke. In addition to the visible imagery, Fire Products, below, can characterize the Temperature, Power (in megawatts) and area (in square meters) of the fire detected by GOES-16.  On this day, clouds over the fires in Oregon mean that satellite detection is challenged, even though the by-product, smoke, is apparent.  Fires over Idaho are readily apparent however.  These fires were also detected by the 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared channel on GOES-16, the traditional fire-detection channel (used in concert with 10.3 µm, the clean window channel).  Imagery at 1.6 µm and 2.2 µm imagery can also be used to highlight hot fires;  that will be the subject of a future blog post.

GOES-16 Fire Products: Fire Temperature, Fire Power and Fire Area, 2037 UTC on 6 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

 

The mp4 animation, below, shows CIMSS Natural True Color over the Full Disk on 5 September 2017.  The Full Disk View allows a better visualization of how the smoke is moving (and underscores how widespread it is) — and it shows Hurricane Irma as well.

CIMSS Natural True Color, every 15 minutes, on 5 September 2017 (Click to animate)

 

NOAA creates many Smoke-related products, some of which are easily accessible at this link.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma over the Lesser Antilles

September 6th, 2017 |

Suomi NPP’s Day Night Band Image, below, from Real Earth, shows Hurricane Irma as it is over the island of Barbuda — note that the island is entirely within the eye! (Click here for an image with no underlying maps).

Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) image, 0529 UTC on 6 September 2017, with underlying map (Click to enlarge)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

GOES-16 Clean Window (10.3 µm) imagery at 30-second intervals, 0957 – 1202 UTC on 6 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 Clean Window (10.3 µm) imagery, above, for two hours near sunrise on 6 September 2017 show a well-developed Irma moving through the islands to the east of Puerto Rico. The storm maintains its excellent satellite presentation with a distinct eye. Geostationary Lightning Mapper Data overlain on the 10.3 µm imagery (with a greyscale enhancement), below, shows that lightning continues to be active within the eyewall of this strong storm.

GOES-16 10.3 µm imagery at 15-minute intervals, with Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) data overlain at 3-minute intervals, yellow oldest, red newest (Click to animate)

For the latest on this powerful storm, consult the National Hurricane Center website, or the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Irma is a Category 5 Hurricane as it approaches the Lesser Antilles

September 5th, 2017 |

GOES-16 Visible 0.64 µm Imagery, 1144-1243 UTC on 5 September 2017 (Click to animate)

GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational and are undergoing testing

Hurricane Irma, northeast of Antigua and Barbuda in the Lesser Antilles, achieved Category 5 status on 5 September, based on aircraft reconnaissance. The symmetric storm with a clear eye (that includes mesoscale vortices) is shown above with 1-minute imagery from GOES-16.

GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper data, below, shows lightning occurring in the outer bands of the storm. Two-hour animations, updated every 15 minutes, of GLM data superimposed over Visible (0.64 µm) or over Infrared (10.3 µm) imagery. are available at the links (Imagery courtesy Dave Santek, SSEC).

Note that a slightly later animation, ending at 1500 UTC, (here), shows considerable lightning activity in the eye of Irma, as does the animation ending at 1915 UTC (here). It is not unusual for strengthening tropical systems to support electrical activity in the eyewall.

GOES-16 ABI Visible (0.64 µm) every 15 minutes, 1100-1315 UTC 5 September 2017, with 3-minute increments of GLM Group data plotted (Yellow Points: oldest; Red Points: Latest) (Click to enlarge)

Suomi NPP overflew Irma near 0600 UTC on 5 September, when Irma was still a Category 4 storm. Two views of the storm are shown below, both toggling between the Day Night Band visible image (0.7 µm) that has excellent illumination from a near-Full Moon and the 11.45 µm Infrared Imagery.

Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) and VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery, 0554 UTC 5 September 2017 (Click to enlarge)

 

Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible (0.7 µm) and VIIRS Infrared (11.45 µm) imagery, 0554 UTC 5 September 2017, over the eye of Hurricane Irma (Click to enlarge)

 

A GOES-16 late in the day on 5 September, below, shows a well-developed storm with a distinct eye

GOES-16 Infrared Imagery (10.3 µm, upper left; 6.19 µm, upper right, 7.34 µm, lower right) and Visible Imagery (0.64 µm, lower right), 2057-2143 UTC on 5 September 2017 (Click to animate)

Interests throughout the Greater Antilles, the northern Lesser Antilles, the Bahamas and the southeastern United States including Florida should be monitoring this storm closely, and preparing for its arrival. For more information, refer to the National Hurricane Center website, or the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.

Suomi NPP Views Hurricane Irma

September 4th, 2017 |

Suomi NPP Overflew Hurricane Irma at around 0430 UTC on 4 September, and a nearly Full Moon supplied ample illumination for the Day Night Band on the VIIRS Instrument that is onboard Suomi NPP. The Slider above compares the Day Night Band Visible Imagery with the 11 Infrared Imagery (Drag the bar left and right to change imagery). A more zoomed-in set of images (all images courtesy Will Straka, SSEC/CIMSS) is below.

Irma is a category 3 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The storm will threaten the Greater and Lesser Antilles this week, and the Mainland of the United States later this week into the weekend.

For more information on Irma, consult the National Hurricane Center website, or the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website.