2 pyrocumulonimbus clouds produced by the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire in New Mexico

June 14th, 2022 |

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom left) and Cloud Top Temperature derived product (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Cloud Top Temperature derived product images (above) showed that the Calf Canyon Fire/Hermits Peak Fire in northeastern New Mexico produced a pair of pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) clouds on 14 June 2022. Extreme fire behavior was aided by surface wind gusts as high as 60 mph and very dry air within the boundary layer. Ths large fire burned very hot, with 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperatures reaching 138.71ºC — the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors — for extended periods of time. Coldest 10.35 µm cloud-top brightness temperatures exhibited by the pyroCb cloud were around -46ºC (lighter blue enhancement), with the Cloud Top Temperature product showing values as cold as -61ºC (green pixels). This was the 4th day of pyroCb production by this fire — following previous events on 14 May, 10 May and 01 May.

In a toggle between Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images valid at 2051 UTC (below), the True Color image highlighted the smoke plume while the False Color image showed the active fires (brighter shades of pink) along with the size of the burn scar (shades of brown).

Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images valid at 2051 UTC [click to enlarge]

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