Calf Canyon Fire produces a pyrocumulonimbus cloud

April 22nd, 2022 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed that the Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico produced a pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud on 22 April 2022. This large fire burned very hot, with 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperatures reaching 138.71ºC — the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors. Very strong winds contributed to the rapid intensification and spread of this wildfire — the peak wind gust at nearby Las Vegas (KLVS) was 74 mph (NWS Albuqueque PNS).

10.35 µm images indicated that the pyrocumulus cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures first reached the -40ºC pyroCb threshold at 2334 UTC (below).

 GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images at 2334 UTC [click to enlarge]

Cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures subsequently cooled to a minimum of -53ºC around 0022 UTC — which corresponded to an altitude of around 11.7 km according to rawinsonde data from Albuquerque (below).

Plot of 00 UTC rawinsonde data from Albuquerque, New Mexico [click to enlarge]

Comments are closed.