Bush fires in eastern Australia

November 8th, 2019 |

JMA Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and Longwave Infrared Window (10.4 µm) imagery (below) showed the evolution of smoke plumes, hot 3.9 µm fire thermal anomalies (red pixels) and cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures of isolated pyrocumulus associated with bush fires that were burning in far eastern parts of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia from 1900 UTC on 07 November to 0800 UTC on 08 November 2019. With strong northwesterly surface winds, many of the fire thermal anomalies exhibited rapid southeastward runs toward the coast. That region of Australia had just experienced severe to record 3-month rainfall deficiencies — which included the driest October on record for the southern third of the country.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Longwave Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Longwave Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images created using McIDAS-V (below) provided another view of the dense smoke plumes from 0000-0610 UTC. Toward the end of the animation — in the upper left portion of the satellite scene — plumes of blowing dust could be seen moving eastward from farther inland.

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images (credit: Bob Carp, SSEC) [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 True Color RGB images (credit: Bob Carp, SSEC) [click to play animation | MP4]

A combination of Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Shortwave Infrared (4.1 µm) imagery at 0328 UTC (below) revealed hot thermal signatures of the fires (yellow to red enhancement) at the source of the smoke plumes.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB + Shortwave Infrared (4.1 µm) imagery at 0328 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB + Shortwave Infrared (4.1 µm) imagery at 0328 UTC (credit: Bob Carp, SSEC) [click to enlarge]

A toggle between a Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB image and a display of Sentinel-5 TROPOMI Tropospheric Vertical Column NO2 (below) indicated high NO2 concentrations immediately downwind of these fires.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB image + TROPOMI Tropospheric Vertical Column NO2 [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB image + Sentinel-5 TROPOMI Tropospheric Vertical Column NO2 (credit: Bob Carp, SSEC) [click to enlarge]

The dense smoke plumes were also evident in a sequence of 3 VIIRS True Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP, as visualized using RealEarth (below).

NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

Smoke reduced the surface visibility to 3 miles or less at Grafton (YGFN) from 03-05 UTC (below).

Time series of surface report data from Grafton, New South Wales [click to enlarge]

Time series of surface report data from Grafton, New South Wales [click to enlarge]


Typhoon Bualoi in the West Pacific Ocean

October 22nd, 2019 |

JMA Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

2.5-minute rapid scan JMA Himawari-8 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above) displayed Category 4 Typhoon Bualoi west of the Mariana Islands in the West Pacific Ocean on 22 October 2019. Note the rapid clearing and expansion of the eye after 04 UTC, as the tropical cyclone continued its trend of intensification (ADT | SATCON) while moving over water possessing high values of Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content.

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Infrared images during that period when the eye rapidly cleared are shown below; the visible images eventually revealed mesovortices within the eye.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, left) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.4 µm, right) images [click to play animation | MP4]

In a toggle between NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images at 1543 UTC (below), note the bright streak on DNB image from lightning activity in the eastern eyewall, along with moonlight side-illumination of some overshooting tops.

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

Convectively-generated gravity waves off the coast of Western Australia

October 22nd, 2019 |

Himawari-8 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

JMA Himawari-8 Upper-level Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images (above) revealed 2 distinct pulses of long-lived gravity waves that propagated northward/northwestward/westward from the coast of Western Australia during the 20-22 October 2019 period. These waves appear to have been generated by thunderstorms near and along the coast — and traveled as far northward as Christmas Island (station identifier YPXM) and the Lesser Sunda Islands.

The corresponding Himawari-8 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images are shown below.

Himawari-8 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Typhoon Hagibis south of Japan

October 11th, 2019 |

Himawari-8 Clean Window Infrared (10.41 µm) imagery every 2.5 minutes, from 1429 UTC to 1932 UTC on 11 October 2019. Imagery courtesy JMA (Click to animate)

Himawari-8 Advanced Himawari Imagery (AHI) from the ‘Target’ sector, above, show a strong albeit asymmetric storm south of Ise Bay and southwest of Tokyo Bay. Clean window infrared (10.41 µm) imagery, above, shows a compact eye that is cooling with time, suggesting weakening (and/or becoming more cloud-filled). Most of the cold clouds in the storm are north of the center, a distribution that suggests shear.  However, the storm is still producing strong convection that is wrapping around the eye. By the end of the animation, at 1929 UTC, the eye is no longer distinct.  This toggle compares the 1432 and 1929 UTC images.  A decrease in storm cloud-top organization near the eye is apparent.

Data from the CIMSS Tropical Page at 1530 UTC on 11 October, shown below in a stepped animation, show southerly shear that will increase with time over the storm as it moves towards Japan. Microwave imagery (85 GHz) also suggest a sheared storm, as does the infrared imagery.  Low-level water vapor imagery (7.3 µm), here), shows dry air (yellows in the color enhancement chosen) prevalent over the southern half of the storm.  These data suggest that a slow extratropical transition is underway.

Past and Predicted path of Hagibis, Observed Shear at 1500 UTC, the latest 85 GHz image over the storm, and Infrared window imagery at 1530 UTC. (Click to enlarge) All imagery from the CIMSS Tropical Page.

The Airmass RGB image over the Pacific Basin, (animation), (from this site at CIRA) also shows dry air consistent with a transition from tropical to extratropical. The zoomed-in image of the Airmass RGB, below, from Real Earth, shows the dry air as shades or orange/copper southwest of the storm, in contrast to the deep tropical moisture, feeding into the storm from the south, that is greener.

Airmass RGB from Himawari-8 Data, 1630 UTC on 11 October 2019

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has the latest on Hagibis. A projected path valid at 1500 UTC 11 October is here.

Suomi NPP overflew Hagibis at 1639 UTC on 11 October. The toggle below shows the Day Night Band (0.7 µm Visible imagery) and the 11.45 µm infrared imagery from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Instrument.  A larger-scale view of the Day Night Band is here.  (Imagery courtesy William Straka, CIMSS)

Suomi NPP Day Night Band Visible Imagery (0.7 µm) and Window Infrared (11.45 µm) from VIIRS, 1638 UTC on 11 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)