Easy Fire in Southern California

October 30th, 2019 |

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

As northeast Santa Ana winds began to increase before sunrise on 30 October 2019, 1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed the sudden onset of a thermal anomaly (cluster of  hot 3.9 µm pixels) — associated with the Easy Fire northwest of Los Angeles — which occurred at 1308-1309 UTC (6:08-6:09 AM local time). After sunrise, the narrow wind-driven smoke plume was seen in the Visible imagery.

A comparison of 3 consecutive VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 with the corresponding GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images (below) demonstrated the advantage of polar orbiter imagery for providing a more accurate depiction of the size and location of a fire. Note: the color enhancements are different for the Suomi NPP/NOAA-20 vs GOES-17 images, since there are differences between shortwave infrared detectors on the VIIRS and ABI instruments.

3.74 µm Shortwave Infrared images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 compared with the corresponding GOES-17 3.9 µm images [click to enlarge]

3.74 µm Shortwave Infrared images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 compared with the corresponding GOES-17 3.9 µm images [click to enlarge]

Stereoscopic views of the Kincade Fire in California

October 30th, 2019 |

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery on 24 October 2019, 1500-2350 UTC (Click to animate)

GOES-16 and GOES-17 satellite imagery can be remapped and combined to create stereoscopic imagery. To achieve the 3-dimensional effect, cross your eyes until three scenes are visible, and focus on the middle image.  You can also achieve this by placing a finger halfway between your eyes and the screen, and focusing on your finger, then focusing on the image behind.  (Here’s a website that might help).  The imagery above, from 24 October 2019, shows high clouds rotating anti-cyclonically above the smoke produced from the Kincade Fire (previous blog posts on this fire are here and here). The smoke plume extended far out into the Pacific Ocean. A Full-resolution image animation is shown below.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery on 24 October 2019, 1500-2350 UTC (Click to animate)

Animations for 25 October, 26 October, 27 October, 28 October and 29 October are shown below, in order.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC on 25 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 26 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 25th and 26th of October, prevailing winds moved smoke into the Bay Area.  On both days, the fire appeared less vigorous in the visible imagery than on the 24th, at top, or on the 27th;  at least, it appeared to be producing less smoke.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC on 26 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 27 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 27th, below, the fire resembled the scene on 24 October, with a large smoke plume extending far southwest into the Pacific Ocean.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to 2350 UTC on 27 October 2019 (Click to animate)

On the 28th, below, smoke generation has decreased, and the smoke pall appears over the Bay Area again. A full-resolution version is available here.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to 2350 UTC on 28 October 2019 (Click to animate)

The scene on the 29th, below (Full resolution available here) is shown below. The smoke plume is extensive.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery from 1500 UTC to on 29 October 2019 to 0050 UTC on 30 October 2019 (Click to animate)

How did the smoke plume change from day to day? The animation below shows data at 2350 UTC on 24-29 October.

GOES-16 (left) and GOES-17 (right) visible (0.64 µm) imagery at 2350 UTC from 24 to 29 October 2019 (Click to enlarge)

Kincade Fire grows as Diablo Winds incease

October 27th, 2019 |

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) showed a wind-driven increase in areal coverage and smoke production from the Kincade Fire in Northern California on 27 October 2019. The fire made a rapid southwestward run of approximately 10 miles toward Highway 101 (plotted in red), as Diablo Winds increased during the nighttime hours — a wind gust of 102 mph was recorded at Pine Flat Road and 93 mph near Healdsburg Hills.

GOES-17 True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the AOS site (below) showed how Kincade Fire smoke expanded across the Pacific Ocean during the day.

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 True Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A sequence of VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (below) showed the southwestward expansion of the large thermal anomaly associated with  the fire (Note: the NOAA-20 images are incorrectly labeled as Suomi NPP).

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images from Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 [click to enlarge]

Kincade Fire in Northern California

October 24th, 2019 |

GOES-17 multi-panel images showing all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 multi-panel images showing all 16 ABI spectral bands [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute interval (and 30-second interval, beginning at 0730 UTC) Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) multi-panel images showing all 16 ABI spectral bands (above) revealed the hot thermal signature of the Kincade Fire in Northern California on 24 October 2019. The fire thermal anomaly first became evident in Shortwave Infrared and Near-Infrared imagery at 0421 UTC or 9:21 PM PDT on 23 October (0421 UTC image | 6-minute animation). A weather station close to the fire (Healdsburg Hills) recorded winds gusting to 76 mph less than 2 hours after the fire started; at that time, the Relative Humidity was only 11%. Above-normal temperatures were also present across that region of California, with Downtown Oakland setting a daily record high of 89ºF.

At times the fire’s hot thermal emissions were detected by 13 of the 16 spectral bands — including very subtle signatures in the “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) and “Cirrus” (1.38 µm), and Low-level Water Vapor (7.34 µm) bands (below). The hottest Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) brightness temperature observed was 138.7ºC (411.9 K), which is the saturation temperature for those ABI detectors.

Since overlapping 1-minute GOES-17 Mesoscale Sectors provided 30-second Visible images, the westward transport of dense smoke from the fire source could be followed in great temporal and spatial detail (below). Note that a ship about 50 miles offshore reported smoke at 18 UTC. Just south of the dense plume, smoke was being reported at Santa Rosa — but the surface visibility remained at 10 miles.

GOES-17

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with surface reports plotted in yellow [click to play animation | MP4]

A larger-scale view using the GOES-17 CIMSS Natural Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) product (below) indicated that smoke had been transported about 400 miles offshore by 20 UTC.

GOES-17 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 CIMSS Natural Color RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

A toggle between Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images from the MODIS Today site (below) provided a more detailed view of the smoke plume and the thermal anomaly (shades of pink to red) associated with the large Kincade Fire (as well as the much smaller Muir Fire near the coast, north of San Francisco).

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS True Color and False Color RGB images at 1826 UTC [click to enlarge]

A comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images at 0900 and 2023 UTC (below) showed the expansion of the fire’s thermal anomaly (red to black pixels) during that ~11.5 hour period.

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images at 0900 and 2023 UTC [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images at 0900 and 2023 UTC; the solid violet line west of the fire is California Highway 101. [click to enlarge]