19 April 1999 -- Florida Everglades Fire

3.9 microm Image --- Click to enlarge

GOES-8 3.9 Image

(Java animation)

GOES-8 visible image - Click to enlarge

GOES-8 visible image

(Java animation)

Drier than normal weather has contributed to the outbreak of fires in the Florida Everglades which began burning during the second week in April 1999. The images above from 19 April 1999 at 2215 UTC show the hot spots created by the fire in the GOES-8 3.9 micron image and the associated smoke pall in the visible image. Elevated brightness temperatures were observed over a 16 km by 23 km region at this time; fifteen of the fire pixels were saturated. Media reports indicated that by Tuesday night 20 April 1999, the fire had consumed 160,000 acres.

The 3.9 micron animation shows the rapid evolution of the fire from the late afternoon of 19 April 1999 to early morning of 20 April 1999. Fires often flare in the late afternoon. There was a dramatic difference in the Florida Everglades fire size between the 2045 UTC and 2115 UTC image. A decrease in the number of fire pixels is observed by 0215 UTC on 20 April 1999.

The fire was producing a large smoke pall by 2045 UTC. During the conflagration, Interstate 75 was closed on several occasions due to heavy smoke and low visiblity. The smoke pall penetrated the 850 mb level and was carried eastward by winds at that level. Another smoke pall can be seen from a smaller fire in Southern Georgia. It also follows the streamlines at the 850 mb level.


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