Wildfires continue in the interior of Alaska

July 25th, 2015 |

GOES-15 visible (top) and shortwave IR (bottom) images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 visible (top) and shortwave IR (bottom) images [click to play animation]

Wildfires continued to burn across parts of the interior of Alaska during the 22-25 July 2015 period, as is shown in GOES-15 (GOES-West) 0.63 µm visible channel and 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (above; click to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file). Also of interest is: (1) the diurnal change of intensity and areal coverage of the fire hot spots (darker black to red pixels on the shortwave IR images), with the fires dying down at night, and (2) the change in direction of smoke transport, from westward on 22 July to eastward on 24 July. The switch in smoke transport direction was the result of changing winds associated with a broad area of low pressure moving across Alaska during that period (surface analyses).

A more detailed view of the fire hot spots was provided by 375-meter resolution (mapped onto a 1-km AWIPS grid) Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm shortwave IR images (below; click to play animation).

Suomi NPP VIIRS shortwave IR images [click to play animation]

Suomi NPP VIIRS shortwave IR images [click to play animation]

Many of the fires were burning in the general vicinity of the Utopia Creek, Indian Mountain airport (station identifier PAIM); a time series of surface observation from that site (below) showed that visibility was 1 mile or less due to smoke at times on 25 July.

Time series of surface observation from Utopia Creek, Indian Mountain airport [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface observation from Utopia Creek, Indian Mountain airport [click to enlarge]

Daily composites of Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images viewed using the SSEC RealEarth web map server are shown below.

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color images [click to enlarge]

Strong July storm “Zeljko” affects parts of central Europe

July 25th, 2015 |

Meteosat-10 6.25  µm water vapor channel images [click to play animation]

Meteosat-10 6.25 µm water vapor channel images [click to play animation]

EUMETSAT Meteosat-10 6.25 µm water vapor channel images (above; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file) showed the well-defined circulation associated with an unusually strong (for July) storm centered just north of the Netherlands on 25 July 2015. Some locations experienced hurricane-force surface winds with this storm — which was given the name “Zeljko” by the Free University of Berlin (surface analyses) — and it was described as the most violent July storm on record for the Netherlands, where a wind gust of 121 km/hour (65 knots, or 75 mph) was reported. Peak wind gusts at major airports are plotted on the water vapor imagery above, which showed 55 knots or 63 mph at Amsterdam in the Netherlands at 13 UTC, and 47 knots or 54 mph at Münster-Osnabrück in northern Germany at 17 UTC. Strong winds disrupted both rail and air traffic in some areas; the winds made for some challenging landings at the Amsterdam Schiphol airport (one of which was documented in this YouTube video).

Meteosat-10 0.8 µm High Resolution Visible images (below; click image to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file) displayed better detail of the center of the storm circulation when it was immediate off the coast of the Netherlands during the middle of the day.

Meteosat-10 0.8 µm visible channel images [click to play animation]

Meteosat-10 0.8 µm visible channel images [click to play animation]

A Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image visualized using the SSEC RealEarth web map server (below)  showed the center of the strong mid-latitude cyclone just off the coast of the Netherlands; at the time, winds were gusting to 50 knots at the Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image, with METAR surface reports

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color image, with METAR surface reports