North Carolina fertilizer plant fire

January 31st, 2022 |

GOES-16 Near-Infrared (1.61 µm, left and 2.24 µm, center) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, right) images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Near-Infrared “Snow/Ice” (1.61 µm), Near-Infrared “Cloud Particle Size” (2.24 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (above) displayed the thermal signature of a fire at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (airport identifier KINT) that began around 2346 UTC or 6:46 pm EST (about an hour after sunset) on 31 January 2022. The highest 3.9 µm infrared brightness temperature was 300.64 K at 0011UTC, 25 minutes after the fire was first detected by GOES-16.

Note that a faint thermal signature of the fire (pixels exhibiting dim shades of white) was also seen in the Near-Infrared (1.61 µm Band 5 and 2.24 µm Band 6) images — this is because those two ABI spectral bands are located close to the peak emitted radiance of very hot features such as large fires (below).

Spectral Response Function (SRF) plots for GOES-16 ABI Bands 5, 6 and 7 (credit: Mat Gunshor, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

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