Eruption of the Raikoke volcano in the Kuril Islands

June 21st, 2019 |

Himawari-8 False Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 False Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

For the first time since 1924, a major eruption of the Raikoke volcano occurred around 1800 UTC on 21 June 2019. Himawari-8 False Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site (above) showed — via the brighter yellow areas — that a large portion of the volcanic plume was rich in both ash and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The Tokyo VAAC estimated the maximum ash height to be 43,000 feet (~13 km) above ground level — and CALIPSO CALIOP data indicated a maximum ash height around 12 km shortly after 02 UTC on 22 June (between 45-50º N latitude and 159-161º E longitude).

A comparison of an Aqua MODIS False Color RGB image with the corresponding Ash Height, Ash Loading and Ash Effective Radius retrieved products at 0310 UTC on 22 June (below) indicated maximum ash height values of 18-20 km (black pixels) immediately downwind of the eruption site. Maximum Himawari-8 Ash Height values were in the 16-18 km range.

Aqua MODIS False Color RGB, Ash Height, Ash Loading and Ash Effective Radius at 0310 UTC on 22 June [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS False Color RGB image with Ash Height, Ash Loading and Ash Effective Radius retrieved products [click to enlarge]

In a comparison of Himawari-8 Upper-level (6.2 µm), Mid-level (6.9 µm) and Low-level (7.3 µm) Water Vapor images (below), since the 7.3 µm spectral band is also sensitive to SO2 absorption, those images showed a good signature of the leading filament of volcanic SO2 as it was transported east-southeastward over the North Pacific Ocean.

Water Vapor images from Himawari-8: Upper-level (6.2 µm, top), Mid-level (6.9 µm, middle) and Low-level (7.3 µm, bottom) [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images from Himawari-8: Upper-level (6.2 µm, top), Mid-level (6.9 µm, middle) and Low-level (7.3 µm, bottom) [click to play animation | MP4]

Similarly, the GOES–17 (GOES-West) Low-level Water Vapor (7.3 µm) images also showed the filament of volcanic SO2 that was being drawn into the circulation of a Gale Force Low south of the Aleutian Islands. As a result, the Anchorage VAAC issued aviation Volcanic Ash Advisories that covered large areas of the North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea; they continued to estimate the maximum ash height to be 43,000 feet. Around 16 UTC on 22 June, CALPSO CALIOP data sampled a small portion of the ash at an altitude near 17 km (between 45-50º N latitude, 155-157º W longitude).

Water Vapor images from GOES-17: Upper-level (6.2 µm, top), Mid-level (6.9 µm, middle) and Low-level (7.3 µm, bottom) [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images from GOES-17: Upper-level (6.2 µm, top), Mid-level (6.9 µm, middle) and Low-level (7.3 µm, bottom) [click to play animation | MP4]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP as viewed using RealEarth are shown below at approximately 01 UTC, 02 UTC and 03 UTC on 22 June. The combination of True Color and Infrared imagery indicated that volcanic ash was present a multiple altitudes.

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP [click to enlarge]

VIIRS True Color RGB and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) images from NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP at 01, 02 and 03 UTC on 22 June [click to enlarge]

Due to the highly-oblique satellite viewing angle of GOES-17, multiple Raikoke eruption pulses of significant vertical extent were clearly evident in GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below).

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

A somewhat less oblique view from the west was provided by the NSMC FY-2G satellite (below).

NSMC FY-2G Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

NSMC FY-2G Visible (0.73 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (below) provided another interesting view of the multiple eruption pulses — and since the eruption began around 5 AM local time, long early morning shadows were cast by the initial bursts of tall volcanic clouds. A faster animation revealed shock waves propagating radially outward from the eruption site.

Himawari-8

Himawari-8 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]




Incidentally, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station took a photo of the volcanic cloud at 2246 UTC on 21 June — and the two Visible images that bracket that time (2240 and 2250 UTC) from GOES-17 and Himawari-8 are shown below.

Photo taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station [click to enlarge]

Photo taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station at 2246 UTC [click to enlarge]

GOES-17 Visible (0.64 µm) images at 2240 and 2250 UTC {click to enlarge]

GOES-17 Visible (0.64 µm) images at 2240 and 2250 UTC {click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images at 2240 and 2250 UTC {click to enlarge]

Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm) images at 2240 and 2250 UTC {click to enlarge]

===== 23 June Update =====

Himawari-8 False Color RGB images [click to play MP4 animation]

Himawari-8 False Color RGB images [click to play MP4 animation]

A 2-day animation of 10-minute Himawari-8 False Color images (above) showed the ash- and SO2-rich volcanic plume (brighter shades of yellow) eventually being transported northeastward across the western Aleutian Islands and circulating cyclonically over the Bering Sea. Similarly, this volcanic cloud transport was also seen in the corresponding GOES-17 False Color imagery.

===== 24 June Update =====

GOES-17 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB imagery (above) continued to show a signature of the volcanic cloud (brighter shades of yellow) from the Raikoke eruption over a large portion of the Bering Sea on 24 June. Volcanic ash advisories were issued for flight altitudes as high as 40,000 feet — and a pilot report of SO2 over the Bering Sea at 47,000 feet was received at 1822 UTC (below).

GOES-17 SO2 RGB, Split Clout Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) and Dust RGB images, with a pilot report of SO2 [click to enlarge]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB, Split Clout Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) and Dust RGB images, with a pilot report of SO2 [click to enlarge]

===== 25 June Update =====

GOES-17 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB images (above) showed the persistent signature of the SO2-rich volcanic cloud as much of it remained within the circulation of a quasi-stationary low pressure system in the Bering Sea.

An interesting Pilot Report north of the Aleutians at 36,000 feet (below) noted thin grey-colored layers below the altitude of the aircraft. GOES-17 Air Mass RGB images showed a subtle brown/tan plume — could this have been a thin filament of ash from the Raikoke eruption that was drawn into the circulation of the Bering Sea low?

GOES-17 SO2 RGB, Air Mass RGB, Dust RGB and Split Cloud Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) images, with a 2008 UTC Pilot Report [click to enlarge]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB, Air Mass RGB, Dust RGB and Split Cloud Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) images, with a 2008 UTC Pilot Report [click to enlarge]

Another Pilot Report farther to the west at 2119 UTC (below) was close to the southern edge of the GOES-17 SO2 signatures, but no sulphur odor was reported; however, they did note the presence of an apparent ash layer south of Shemya in the western Aleutian Islands.

GOES-17 SO2 RGB and Split Cloud Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) images, with a 2119 UTC Pilot Report [click to enlarge]

GOES-17 SO2 RGB and Split Cloud Top Phase (11.2-8.4 µm) images, with a 2119 UTC Pilot Report [click to enlarge]

GOES-13 brought out of storage

June 21st, 2019 |

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 was taken out of storage on 19 June 2019 to begin a period of Image Navigation and Registration (INR) testing — the Satellite Data Services positioned a spare rooftop antenna to begin ingesting the GVAR data from the satellite (positioned over the Equator at 60.2º W longitude) . Visible images from 21 June are displayed above. According to NOAA: “With the established performance of NOAA’s new geostationary satellites, GOES-16 (as GOES-East) and GOES-17 (as GOES-West), and a healthy GOES-14 in reserve, NOAA can provide GOES-13 to the Air Force for their weather forecasting needs. After a check of the GOES-13 instruments, NOAA will operate the satellite on behalf of the Air Force during its remaining life span.”

A 5.5-hour animation of all five spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager is shown below.

Images from all 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge]

All 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge | MP4]

Water Vapor images from GOES-17 (GOES-West), GOES-15, GOES-16 (GOES-East) and GOES-13 (below) — all centered at Glasgow, Montana — showed the development of an anomalously-deep (for 21 June) mid-tropospheric cutoff low over eastern Montana. The images are displayed in the native projection of each satellite.

Water Vapor images from GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-16 and GOES-13, all centered at Glasgow, Montana [click to play animation | MP4]

Water Vapor images, from left to right: GOES-17, GOES-15, GOES-16 and GOES-13, all centered at Glasgow, Montana [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 25 June Update =====

All 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge]

All 5 spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager [click to enlarge]

A 23.5-hour animation of all five spectral bands of the GOES-13 Imager is shown above, centered over Wisconsin.

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 Visible images centered near Cape Verde in western Africa (above) showed that the INR quality of GOES-13 was still very good.

===== 26 June Update =====

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) and Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) and Visible (0.63 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

A test of GOES-13 Rapid Scan Operations (RSO)was conducted on 26 June — a sequence of Infrared Window and Visible images (above) revealed the presence of a Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) off the US East Coast, following the dissipation of its parent nocturnal thunderstorm.

Philadelphia Refinery Explosion in CONUS and Mesoscale Sectors

June 21st, 2019 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared imagery (3.9 µm) from the CONUS sector (orange label) and Mesoscale sector (white label) scans over Philadelphia at the nominal time of 0821 UTC on 21 June 2019 (Click to enlarge)

An earth-shaking refinery explosion (News story 1, 2) occurred in Philadelphia, PA under variably cloudy skies on Friday morning 21 June 2019. The toggle above shows GOES-16 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared imagery from the mesoscale sector (with 1-minute imagery) and from the CONUS sector (with 5-minute imagery) at similar nominal times, 0821 UTC. There is a noticeable difference between the character of the signal in the mesoscale sector and the CONUS sector. This chart shows that a CONUS sector scan (shown in Blue at that link for Mode 6A that applies to GOES-16) occurs over a span of time from either 76 seconds to 233 seconds, or from 376 seconds to 533 seconds every 10 minutes (600 seconds). The nominal time of the image will be when the scan starts. Thus, the CONUS time at 08:21 UTC — that shows a very hot spot — is scanning over Philadelphia at some time in the following 2+ minutes after the scan start time (08:21:54). The Meso scale time of 08:21 UTC is scanning Philadelphia at very close to 08:21:05 UTC.

The mesoscale sector from 0820 to 0826 UTC shows no scene quite so hot as the CONUS sector. The warmest brightness temperature from the mesoscale sector, 51.5 C, occurs in the 0823 UTC image. This contrasts with the warmest brightness temperature of 118.2 C in the CONUS sector! This suggests an ephemeral explosion or rapidly-changing cloud cover that frequently masked the view (or both!).  The GOES-16 CONUS sector scanned just at the right time; the Mesoscale sector, even with higher temporal resolution, did not see the worst of the explosion.

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared imagery (3.9 µm) from the a Mesoscale sector (white label) over Philadelphia from 0821 to 0826 UTC on 21 June 2019 (Click to enlarge)

Toggles between the CONUS image at 0821 and the mesoscale sectors at 0822 UTC and at 0823 UTC suggest that GOES-16 CONUS sector scanned Philadelphia shortly after 0822 UTC. The shift between the CONUS and mesoscale sectors is in opposite directions at the two times. (Note that Philadelphia County is outlined in both of those linked-to toggles.)

As has been observed with other similar events (for example, here, here and here), a closer look at the area showed that a nighttime thermal signature of the fire was also evident in GOES-16 Near-Infrared 1.61 µm and 2.24 µm imagery (below).

GOES-16 Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared (1.61 µm and 2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]