Heat burst in Wichita, Kansas

June 9th, 2011 |
GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR images

AWIPS images of 4-km resolution GOES-13 10.7 µm IR data (above) showed an area of collapsing convection (exhibiting rapidly warming cloud top IR brightness temperatures) moving northeastward across far southern Kansas on 09 June 2010. Downdrafts within this collapsing convection led to a nocturnal heat burst at Wichita (station identifier KICT) .

McIDAS images of  GOES-11 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) 3.9 µm shortwave IR channel data (below) revealed that a warm “heat burst signature” (yellow color enhancement) could be more easily detected (and seen for a longer period of time) on the GOES-11 images, utilizing the more oblique satellite viewing angle from the western satellite.

GOES-11 (left) and GOES-13 (right) 3.9 µm shortwave IR images

GOES-11 (left) and GOES-13 (right) 3.9 µm shortwave IR images

About 2 hours after the heat burst event, a comparison of AWIPS images of 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR and 3.7 µm shortwave IR data (below) continued to show an area of slightly warmer surface IR brightness temperatures (20.0º C and warmer, yellow color enhancement) along the rear flank of the collapsing convection. Again,  the areal coverage of the warm signature was greater on the 3.7 µm shortwave IR image, since that channel is more sensitive to warmer temperatures.

POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR and 3.7 µm shortwave IR images

POES AVHRR 10.8 µm IR and 3.7 µm shortwave IR images

An alternative view using a McIDAS image of the NOAA-19 AVHRR 3.7 µm shortwave IR channel data with plots of surface temperature (below) showed that the instrument shelter air temperatures had cooled to 79-80º F by 08:00 UTC — however, there is some question as to whether the warmest surface IR brightness temperatures seen on the image (red color enhancement) represent the core of the remnants of the heat burst signature, or simply a warm signature of the city of Wichita itself (Sedgewick county is outlined in black on the image).

NOAA-19 AVHRR 3.7 µm IR image + surface temperatures

NOAA-19 AVHRR 3.7 µm IR image + surface temperatures

 

Smoke from Arizona fires spreads eastward and northeastward over much of the central US

June 7th, 2011 |
GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

 

The Wallow Fire continued to burn out of control, becoming the second largest fire on record in the state of Arizona on 07 June 2011. McIDAS images of 1-km resolution GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the dense plume of smoke that stretched from Texas northward to Minnesota and Wisconsin (this was smoke from the previous day of burning).

AWIPS images of GOES-13 visible channel data (below) showed a closer view of areas of smoke of varying height and density covering the Upper Midwest region of the US. The areal coverage of the smoke became more apparent later in the day, as the forward scattering angle increased between the GOES-13 satellite (positioned at 75º West longitude) and the setting sun.

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

A line of convective cells began to develop around sunset along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border (below) — these towering cumulonimbus clouds were able to cast very long shadows (some over 100 miles long) onto the top of the dense smoke layer below.

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel image

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel image

During the middle of the day, when the forward scattering angles are not as favorable to allow the best view of the areal coverage of the smoke, other satellite channels can be employed to help locate the areas where the smoke is most dense. Two comparisons of 1-km resolution MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and the MODIS near-IR 1.38 µm “cirrus detection” channel data (below) demonstrated the utility of the cirrus channel for helping to locate the areas where the smoke was most dense during the daytime at 16:21 UTC and 19:21 UTC. The cirrus detection channel is helpful at identifying airborne particles that are efficient scatterers of light (ice crystals, dust particles, smoke particles) — so the thicker areas of smoke showed up as the slightly brighter arc-shaped features across pars of Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 1.38 µm "cirrus detection" channel images

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 1.38 µm "cirrus detection" channel images

 

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 1.38 µm "cirrus detection" channel images

MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel and 1.38 µm "cirrus detection" channel images

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic eruption in Chile

June 5th, 2011 |
GOES-12 0.65 µm visible channel images

GOES-12 0.65 µm visible channel images

An explosive eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile occurred on 04 June 2011. GOES-12 0.65 µm visible channel images (above) showed a darker gray ash cloud punching above the meteorological cloud deck around 18:15 UTC, with the ash cloud quickly spreading southeastward and moving over Bariloche, Argentina (station identifier SAZS).

A comparison of GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR and 10.7 µm IR window channel images (below) revealed a pronounced and persistent “hot spot” signature (dark black pixels) at the summit of the volcano on the shortwave IR images — while the long and narrow cold high-altitude volcanic cloud (exhibiting IR brightness temperatures around -60º C, darker red color enhancement) could be seen spreading southeastward for a great distance on the IR window images.

GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR (top) and 10.7 µm IR window (bottom) images

GOES-12 3.9 µm shortwave IR (top) and 10.7 µm IR window (bottom) images

CIMSS activities in the GOES-R Proving Ground include the generation of real-time volcanic ash retrieval products (using Meteosat SEVIRI data as a proxy for GOES-R data), which showed a significant volcanic ash plume emerging over the Atlantic Ocean (below).

SEVIRI volcanic ash retrieval products

SEVIRI volcanic ash retrieval products

The “Wallow Fire” in Arizona

June 3rd, 2011 |
MODIS true color and false color images

MODIS true color and false color images

250-meter resolution MODIS true color and false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images from the SSEC MODIS Today site (above) showed the long, dense smoke plume (gray on the true color image) and the hottest active fires  (pink on the false color image) around the perimeter of the large burn scar of the “Wallow Fire” in eastern Arizona on 03 June 2011. At over 106,000 acres, the Wallow Fire has become the 4th largest wildfire in Arizona history.

 

===== 04 JUNE UPDATE =====

1-km resolution GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (below; click image to play animation) showed the development of a very large pyrocumulus  cloud late in the afternoon on 04 June 2011 (note: the date labels on some of the images are incorrect; the Rapid Scan Operations animation spans from 16:02 UTC on 04 June to 00:55 UTC on 05 June).

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

A comparison of SSEC MODIS Today 250-meter resolution true color and false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images (below) from the Terra satellite (17:38 overpass time) and the Aqua satellite (20:53 UTC overpass time) showed a more detailed view of the development of the pyrocumulus cloud (brighter white, within the gray colored smoke plume on the true color image), as well as the flare-up of very hot active fires (pink features in the false color image).

MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

MODIS false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

MODIS false color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images