Grass fire in the Oklahoma Panhandle

April 5th, 2022 |

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images along with 5-minute Fire Power and Fire Temperature products (above) displayed the smoke plume and thermal signature of a grass fire that rapidly intensified and spread across parts of western Beaver County (located in the Oklahoma Panhandle) on 05 April 2022. The Fire Temperature and Fire Power derived products are components of the GOES Fire Detection and Characterization Algorithm FDCA. Thermal signatures became evident around 1700 UTC or Noon CDT; within about 2 hours this fire was already burning very hot, with 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperatures reaching 138.71ºC — the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors — around 1915 UTC.

A strong cold front was moving southward across the High Plains during the day (surface analyses) — and arrived at the grass fire’s location just after 2000 UTC (causing a brief flare-up of the fire thermal signatures, and a final pyrocumulus pulse). The surge of colder air behind the cold front showed up as darker shades of green in the 3.9 µm images. Th initial east-southeastward expansion of the hot thermal 3.9 µm signature quickly transitioned to a south-southwestward expansion in the wake of the frontal passage.

1-minute GOES-16 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) showed the initial eastward spread of the smoke plume prior to the arrival of the cold front — followed by a pronounced south-southwestward transport of smoke from the fire source region after the cold front moved across the area.

GOES-16 True Color RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

The polar-orbiting Suomi-NPP satellite passed over that region around 1923 UTC — a toggle between True Color and False Color RGB images is shown below. The data to produce these images were downloaded and processed by the SSEC/CIMSS Direct Broadcast ground station (and are available for display in AWIPS via an LDM feed).

Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color and False Color RGB images at 1923 UTC [click to enlarge]

Incidentally, Beaver County in Oklahoma experienced another fast-moving grass fire in March 2020.

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