Multi-day eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano in the West Indies

April 9th, 2021 |

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

GOES-16 Ash RGB and SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Ash RGB and SO2 RGB images (above) displayed signatures of two distinct eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano on the island of Saint Vincent in the West Indies on 09 April 2021. Signatures of high ash or SO2 concentrations appear as brighter shades of pink on the RGB images. Significant ash fall on parts of the island forced evacuations of some communities. The SO2 signature for the second eruption was much more pronounced and widespread.

The corresponding GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (below) showed that coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperatures associated with the first eruption (which began shortly before 1250 UTC) were -62ºC, while the second and more explosive eruption (which began shortly after 1900 UTC) exhibited temperatures as cold as -78ºC.

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) showed the characteristic tan-colored hues of a volcanic cloud having significant ash loading.

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

GOES-16 True Color RGB images (credit: Tm Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS/ASPT) [click to play animation | MP4]

A number of quantitative radiometrically-retrieved products are available from the NOAA/CIMSS Volcanic Cloud Monitoring site — some of which include Ash Height, Ash Probability, Ash Loading and Ash Effective Radius (below).

Ash Height product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Height product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Probability product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Probability product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Loading product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Loading product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Effective Radius product [click to play animation | MP4]

Ash Effective Radius product [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 10 April Update =====

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) displayed the volcanic cloud associated with numerous explosive eruptions that continued during much of the day on 10 April. The coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature of -84.8ºC occurred at 1058 UTC (and would have been missed by the routine 10-minute images over that area). This cold overshooting top infrared brightness temperature roughly corresponded to an altitude of 18.2 km, or 1.8 km above the tropopause according to 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Barbados (below).

Plot of 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Grantley Adams, Barbados [click to enlarge]

Plot of 12 UTC rawinsonde data from Grantley Adams, Barbados [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 True Color RGB images within +/- 30 minutes of the -84.8ºC infrared brightness temperature are shown below — an abrupt penetration of the existing volcanic cloud top was seen by the newly-developed overshooting top.

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

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

GOES-16 Ash RGB images (below) indicated high concentrations of volcanic ash (brighter shades of pink) spreading out slowly around the island of Saint Vincent at lower altitudes, and being transported rapidly eastward at higher altitudes. To the north, light ash fall was limiting the surface visibility to 2-3/4 miles at Saint Lucia (TLPL) — while farther to the east heavier ash fall on the island of Barbados visibility was occasionally being restricted to around 1/2 mile (1000 meters) at Grantley Adams Airport (TBPB).

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

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

GOES-16 SO2 RGB images (below) showed that high concentrations of SO2 (shades of red to orange) were also being emitted during the series of eruptions.

GOES-16 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 SO2 RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 (GOES-West) provided an oblique view of these volcanic clouds, which were very near the extreme limb of the satellite view — a comparison of GOES-17 and GOES-16 Full Disk sector “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images for one of the more explosive events on 10 April is shown below. The magnification factor is identical in both sets of GOES images, though they are displayed in the native projection of each satellite. A similar comparison of 10-minute Full Disk sector GOES-17 and 1-minute Mesoscale sector GOES-16 Visible images is available here.

“Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images from GOES-17 (left) and GOES-16 (right) [click to play animation | MP4]

A toggle between True Color RGB images from GOES-16 and GOES-17 at 1930 UTC (below) further illustrates the parallax displacement associated with the large viewing angle from GOES-17.

True Color RGB images from GOES-16 and GOES-17, at 1930 UTC (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS/ASPB) [click to enlarge]

True Color RGB images from GOES-16 and GOES-17, at 1930 UTC (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS/ASPB) [click to enlarge]

===== 11 April Update =====

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image (credit: William Straka, CIMSS) [click to enlarge]

A nighttime NOAA-20 VIIRS Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) image (above) revealed mesospheric airglow waves propagating northeastward and eastward away from the volcano, which was still actively erupting every few hours.

The periodic violent eruptions continued into the daytime hours on 11 April — and GOES-16 Mid-level Water Vapor (6.9 µm) images (below) showed shock waves emanating radially outward from the initial volcanic cloud location following each eruption.

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Mid-level (6.9 µm) Water Vapor images [click to play animation | MP4]

===== 13 April Update =====

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Ash RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Ash RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

Eruptions continued on the morning of 13 April, as seen in GOES-16 Infrared and Ash RGB images (above).

A 4-day animation of GOES-16 Ash RGB images — covering the period from 1230 UTC on 09 April to 1230 UTC on 13 April — is shown below.

GOES-16 Ash RGB images, 09-13 April [click to play MP4 animation]

GOES-16 Ash RGB images, 09-13 April (credit Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS/ASPB) [click to play MP4 animation]

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).