Canadian wildfire smoke over the Upper Midwest

May 30th, 2019 |

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

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

GOES-16 (GOES-East) True Color Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images from the AOS site (above) revealed the arrival of a dense high-altitude smoke plume from the north, which cast a late-day shadow onto the top of a more aged layer of lower-altitude smoke over the Upper Midwest on 30 May 2019. These smoke layers were being transported from large wildfires that were burning across northern Alberta.

Images from the west-facing AOSS rooftop camera (below) showed the slow obscuration of the setting sun as the smoke layers aloft became increasingly thick.

Images from the west-facing AOSS rooftop camera [click to play animation | MP4]

Images from the west-facing AOSS rooftop camera [click to play animation | MP4]

The GOES-16 Smoke Detection product (below) flagged most of the lower-altitude smoke with its “High Confidence” category.

GOES-16

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Smoke Detection product [click to play animation | MP4]

The higher-altitude smoke plume that moved southward contained some cirrus debris from the pyrocumulonimbus cloud that formed at the wildfire source in northern Alberta, so it was not classified as smoke by the Smoke Detection product — the plume itself did exhibit 10.3 µm infrared brightness temperatures as cold as -57ºC as it approached the Canada/US border (below).

GOES-16 "Clean" Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

Some of the lower-altitude smoke exhibited GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth values as high as 1.0 to 2.0 (below).

GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth product [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth product [click to play animation | MP4]

Actinoform clouds (or actiniae) in the central Pacific Ocean

May 30th, 2019 |

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with 3-hourly plots of ship wind reports [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images, with 3-hourly plots of ship wind reports [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-17 (GOES-West) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images (above) revealed the mesoscale cyclonic circulations of actinoform clouds (or “actiniae“) within the marine boundary layer stratocumulus cloud field over the central Pacific Ocean on 30 May 2019.

This type of cloud feature was originally identified in TIROS-V imagery over the Pacific Ocean in 1962 (below), and was featured in the first Monthly Weather Review “Picture of the Month” series in January 1963.

TIROS-V image of actinoform clouds over the western Pacific Ocean on 07 October 1962 [click to enlarge]

TIROS-V image of actinoform clouds over the western Pacific Ocean on 07 October 1962 [click to enlarge]