Smoke plume from a swamp fire near New Orleans

August 30th, 2011 |
MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

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

 

A sequence of daily 250-meter resolution MODIS true color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images from the SSEC MODIS Direct Broadcast site (above) showed the development and evolution of the smoke plume emanating from a swamp fire that was burning in the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans during the 26 August – 31 August 2011 time period. The change in daily wind directions resulted in very different smoke dispersion patterns on each day. Smoke from this fire caused air quality alerts to be issued for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas.

AWIPS images (below) of the 1-km resolution MODIS 0.65 µm visible channel data at 19:16 UTC (2:16 pm local time on 30 August) showed the curving smoke plume; about 9.5 hours later, the fire “hot spot” (black to red to yellow color enhanced pixels) was seen on a 1-km resolution MODIS 3.7 µm shortwave IR image at 04:42 UTC (11:42 pm local time on 30 August).

MODIS 0.65 µm visible image + MODIS 3.7 µm shortwave IR image

MODIS 0.65 µm visible image + MODIS 3.7 µm shortwave IR image

Tropical Storm Katia forms over the far eastern Atlantic

August 30th, 2011 |
GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images (click image to play animation)

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

An area of disturbed weather that emerged off the coast of Africa over the weekend has acquired sufficient organized convection to be classified as a Tropical Storm, Katia, the 11th named storm of this active Atlantic Hurricane Season. Analyses from the CIMSS Tropical Weather Website show the storm just south of a region of dry air from the Sahara. Shear analyses at the site show that Katia is projected to move into a region of decreasing shear in the next 24 hours. In addition, sea surface temperatures are warm. The forecast from the National Hurricane Center suggests slow strengthening over the next 3 days.

Overshooting Tops diagnosed with MSG data (click image to play animation)

Overshooting Tops diagnosed with MSG data (click image to play animation)

Overshooting tops diagnosed using MSG data (at this site) (above) show a decrease in OT generation over the center of the system today, coincident with warming of the cloud tops. Variability in the number of OTs is common, as shown here.