Wildfire on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia

June 7th, 2016 |

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation]

A large wildfire had been burning for several days from late May into early June 2016 (VIIRS fire detection hot spots) near the west coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. On 07 June, Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed smoke from the wildfire which became entrained within the clockwise circulation of a weak area of low pressure (surface analyses) just off the coast over the Sea of Okhotsk. Beneath the smoke aloft, a swirl of low-level stratus cloud associated with this low was also very apparent. Other features of interest seen in the 0.5 km resolution 10-minute imagery include the intermittent formation of standing wave clouds over the high terrain (east of the fire), and small ice floes drifting westward just off the coast of Magadan Oblast (northwest of the fire).

A closer view using Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below) revealed numerous hot spots (dark black to yellow to red pixels) around the periphery of the burn scar of the large fire, along with the brief development of small pyrocumulus clouds over some of the larger, more active fires. Note that the ABI instrument on GOES-R will provide similar imagery at high spatial (0.5 km visible, 2 km infrared) and temporal (5 minute Full Disk coverage) resolutions.

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (bottom) images [click to play animation]

Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top) and 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (bottom) images [click to play animation]

A Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image viewed using RealEarth (below) provided a high-resolution view of the fire region and the plume of smoke curving around the low pressure feature.

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

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

Tropical Storm Colin in the Gulf of Mexico

June 6th, 2016 |

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water derived from Microwave imagery, 2300 UTC 02 June - 2200 UTC 05 June [click to enlarge]

MIMIC Total Precipitable Water derived from Microwave imagery, 2300 UTC 02 June – 2200 UTC 05 June [click to enlarge]

The 2016 Atlantic Tropical Season’s third named storm has formed in the Gulf of Mexico just north of the Yucatan Peninsula; Colin became the earliest named “C” storm on record for that basin. MIMIC Total Precipitable Water values for the 72 hours ending at 2300 UTC on 5 June 2016, above, show the storm embedded within a deep band of tropical moisture that has surged northward from the Monsoon Trough / Intertropical Convergence Zone into the northwestern Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico (MIMIC TPW + surface analyses). Moisture extends northeastward along the projected path of the storm into northern Florida. Extensive rains are likely over the Southeast US as the storm moves north. Total Precipitable Water (TPW) from MIMIC is a simple band difference between two microwave channels; that difference is invalid over land where emissivity is highly variable. However, MIRS data can estimate TPW over land and water, and its distribution over the eastern United States, below, derived from a morphed animation of the observations, gives a better indication of the spread of rich moisture over the southeastern United States. In addition, the Blended TPW Product showed values in excess of 70 mm (2.76 inches) over the Gulf of Mexico, which were in excess of 170% of Normal.

MIRS-based Total Precipitable Water, 2300 UTC 05 June [click to enlarge]

MIRS-based Total Precipitable Water, 2300 UTC 05 June [click to enlarge]

Colin was poised to moved over a region of higher Ocean Heat Content that was located in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, which could help to fuel additional bursts of deep convection similar to that seen on POES AVHRR infrared imagery, below. For more information on Tropical Storm Colin, refer to the CIMSS Tropical Cyclones site and the National Hurricane Center.

POES AVHRR Visible (0.86 µm) and Infrared (12.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

POES AVHRR Visible (0.86 µm) and Infrared (12.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]