The Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex in western New Mexico

May 26th, 2012
Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR and 3.74 µm shortwave IR images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR and 3.74 µm shortwave IR images

The Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex continued to burn in far western New Mexico on 26 May 2012. A night-time AWIPS image comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR and 3.74 µm shortwave IR data (above) demonstrated how the shortwave IR channel is much more sensitive to the presence of hot fire pixels (red to yellow to black color enhancement). The active fires were located along the perimeter of the large fire complex.

The corresponding Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm “Day/Night Band” image (below) revealed a very distinct bright “ring of fire” signature from these actively burning perimeter fires. Both the Day/Night Band and the shortwave IR signatures looked notably larger on this day than they did on 23 May.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm "Day/Night Band" image

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm "Day/Night Band" image

During the following afternoon hours, a Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel image (below) showed that a long smoke plume continued to be blown toward the northeast, as was seen on a number of previous days.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel image

Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel image