Tropical Storm Noel formed in the Caribbean Sea on 28 October 2007. A GOES-12 visible image with ASCAT winds sourced from the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site (above) shows the cloudiness associated with the tropical storm, which was centered just south of Hispaniola. An animation of GOES-12 IR channel images (below) shows that a few bursts of convection developed in the northern quadrant of Noel during the day (also apparent in a 1-km resolution GOES-12 visible image animation).
An end to the offshore Santa Ana wind regime and a change in the synoptic-scale flow pattern over the southwestern US (MODIS visible image + RUC model winds at 1 km and 2km AGL) resulted in a northward to northeastward transport of smoke from the ongoing Southern California fires on 26 October 2007. A 250-meter resolution MODIS true color image centered over the Grand Canyon in Arizona (above) shows a distinct smoke plume from a new fire that was burning along the north rim of the canyon, as well as a large amount of smoke covering the western portion of the Grand Canyon (which had been transported from the California fires).
A larger-scale MODIS true color image of the Southwest US (below) shows that the smoke from the southern California fires had spread as far as the San Joaquin Valley of California (even settling into some of the valleys along the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range), southern Nevada, northwestern Arizona, and extreme southwestern Utah. The IDEA MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth trajectory product from the previous day provided a fairly accurate forecast of smoke transport.
The Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WFABBA) team produced a 4-day composite of the southern California fires, covering the period 21-24 October 2007. By 26 October, nearly 500,000 acres (~780 square miles) were burned and over 1600 homes were destroyed. The WFABBA product provides frequent, low latency detections and characterizations of fires such as these, as well as the ability to build composites to show the overall development of the fires. Southern California fire activity can be monitored using WFABBA from either GOES-11 or GOES-12.