More smoke from the Idaho/Montana fires

August 13th, 2007 |

GOES-13 visible images

Large wildfires continued to burn out of control in parts of Idaho and Montana (NOAA HMS product) on 13 August 2007. GOES-13 visible imagery (above; Java animation) showed smoke (from the previous day of burning) that was trapped in the valleys during the morning hours…with a transition to rapid smoke plume growth as southwesterly boundary layer winds increased and new fire activity flared up during the afternoon and evening hours.

GOES-12 visible imagery (below; Java animation) showed that smoke from previous days of burning had been transported as far eastward as Wisconsin and the western Great Lakes region on 13 August.

GOES-12 visible image

MODIS AOD product

The extent of the eastward transport of smoke was confirmed using the MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product (above), with the thick smoke exhibiting high AOD values of 0.7 to 1.0 (orange to red enhancement).

MODIS true color imagery (below) showed a closer view of the smoke (hazy areas) that was drifting over Wisconsin and surrounding states during the early afternoon hours — and the IDEA aerosol trajectory forecast suggested a continuation of smoke transport aloft across the the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions .

MODIS true color image

The thick smoke aloft was responsible for creating a colorful (albeit somewhat muted) sunset — the photo below was taken in Middleton, Wisconsin, looking west, around 7:45 PM local time.

smoky sunset in southern Wisconsin

Hurricane Flossie

August 13th, 2007 |

GOES-11 IR image

GOES-11 IR imagery from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above) depicted a nice symmetric eye structure exhibited by Hurricane Flossie as it maintained Category 4 intensity in the central Pacific Ocean on 13 August 2007. Judging from the IR imagery, Flossie appeared to be an annular hurricane — annular hurricanes tend to weaken more slowly than non-annular storms of similar intensity, which may help to explain why Flossie maintained Category 4 intensity even as it began to encounter slightly cooler sea surface temperatures and increasing environmental shear. While Hurricane Flossie was forecast to weaken somewhat as it passed just to the south of the Hawaiian Islands (below), some adverse impacts (increasing winds, high surf, heavy rainfall) were still expected as the storm approached.

GOES-11 IR images (Animated GIF)