Three Rivers Fire in New Mexico

April 26th, 2021 |

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) (top left), GOES-17 Fire Temperature RGB (top right), GOES-16 Fire Power (bottom left) and GOES-16 Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) (top left), GOES-17 Fire Temperature RGB (top right), GOES-16 Fire Power (bottom left) and GOES-16 Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and Fire Temperature RGB along with 5-minute  GOES-16 (GOES-East) Fire Power and GOES-16 Fire Temperature derived products (above) showed the thermal signature of the rapidly-growing Three Rivers Fire in New Mexico on 26 April 2021. The maximum GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared brightness temperature was 138.7ºC — which is the saturation temperature for those ABI detectors — every minute for a solid hour between 1901-2001 UTC. Peak GOES-16 Fire Power and Fire Temperature values during that time were in excess of 2960 MW and 2960 K, respectively. At nearby Ruidoso, southwesterly winds were gusting as high 39 knots.

GOES-16 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) revealed 2 distinct “fire jump” events (after 20 UTC, and again after 22 UTC), when smoke/cloud material was ejected to higher altitudes than the primary smoke plume. In addition, southwest of the large smoke plume a smaller and more diffuse plume of blowing gypsum dust could be seen streaming northeastward from White Sands National Park.

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

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


Prescribed burns across the central US

April 2nd, 2021 |

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

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

Every Spring season, many states conduct prescribed burns as a part of land management within forests, parks, wetlands etc — and GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) showed a large number of smoke plumes associated with prescribed burning across parts of the central US on 02 April 2021.

Of particular interest was a very long smoke plume that was seen streaming northward across southern Lake Michigan — a closer view using GOES-16 True Color RGB images centered over that area (below) indicated that 2 separate plumes merged into one larger/longer smoke plume that continued to drift north-northeastward toward the west coast of Lower Michigan. The source of these smoke plumes was the combination of a small prescribed burn and a larger wildfire within the Indiana Dunes National Park near the coast of Lake Michigan.

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

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

375-meter resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images (below) provided a more detailed view of the smoke plume over far southern Lake Michigan, as well as thermal anomalies (clusters of hot pixels) associated with the industrial sites producing the smoke.

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The pair of 1-minute GOES-16 Mesoscale Domain Sectors was positioned to cover the northern and southern portions of the central US  — and a small overlap of the sectors provided 30-second imagery over the Nebraska/Kansas border area. 30-second GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB images (below) offered a qualitative view of the locations and relative intensities of a few prescribed burns in the southwestern portion of Nebraska.

GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Metal recycling center fire in La Crosse, Wisconsin

April 2nd, 2021 |
GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

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

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (above) showed the thermal anomaly (cluster of darker red pixels) associated with a fire at a metal recycling plant in La Crosse, Wisconsin — located at the center of the images — on 02 April 2021. According to media reports, over 100 vehicles were burning at the facility. Farther to the south, a few thermal signatures of prescribed burns were seen in northeastern Iowa.

A brief smoke plume was produced by the recycling center fire, as shown in GOES-16 True Color RGB images (below), which drifted north-northeastward. Smoke plumes from the prescribed burns were also evident.

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

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

A time series plot of surface weather conditions at La Crosse Regional Airport (below) showed the strong southerly winds gusting to 27 knots around the time of the fire, which transported the smoke plumes northward.

Time series plot of surface weather conditions at La Crosse Regional Airport [click to enlarge]

Time series plot of surface weather conditions at La Crosse Regional Airport [click to enlarge]

Wildfires in South Dakota

March 29th, 2021 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared images, with hourly surface wind barbs (cyan) and gusts (in knots, red); Interstate 90 is plotted in red [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images, with hourly surface wind barbs (cyan) and gusts (in knots, red); Interstate 90 is plotted in red [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (above) displayed the thermal anomalies (clusters of hot pixels) associated with 2 wildfires burning in western South Dakota on 29 March 2021. One fire began just west of Rapid City around 1530 UTC — which forced some evacuations. A second fire began just north of Interstate 90 around 1730 UTC — which forced the closure of Interstate 90 between Kadoka and Murdo as strong northwesterly winds in the wake of a cold frontal passage (surface analyses) caused a rapid fire run to the southeast. The southern surge of cold air (lighter shades of gray) behind the cold front could also be seen in the Shortwave Infrared images; both fires began shortly before the arrival of the cold front.

Taking a closer look at the fire just west of Rapid City, a 4-panel comparison of GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB, Shortwave Infrared, Fire Power and Fire Temperature Characterization products (below) showed that this was not a particularly large or hot fire, whose signature was sometimes obscured by clouds moving overhead.

GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB (top left), Shortwave Infrared (top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Fire Temperature RGB (top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 30 March Update =====

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and Day Land Cloud Fire RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

On the following day, GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and Day Land Cloud Fire RGB images (above) revealed the northwest-to-southeast oriented burn scar (darker gray pixels).