Wildfires in southern Canada

May 18th, 2021 |

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 RGB images created using Geo2Grid (above) showed the growth of numerous large smoke plumes created by wildfires across parts of Manitoba and Ontario on 18 May 2021. A “pyrocumulus jump” was seen in Manitoba (just south of Lake Winnipeg) just after 00 UTC.

Early in the day, a significant amount of ice coverage was apparent in the northern portion of Lake Winnipeg (before becoming obscured by dense smoke plumes). In addition, a line of thunderstorms developed across Saskatchewan and Montana ahead of an approaching cold front.

===== 19 May Update =====

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared and Day/Night Band images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) and Day/Night Band (0.7 µm) images [click to enlarge]

In a toggle between Suomi NPP VIIRS Shortwave Infrared and Day/Night Band images at 0811 UTC or 3:11 AM CDT on 19 May (above), the thermal signature of the large fire between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg was obscured by a narrow patch of cloudiness, but the bright signature of active fires still burning along the periphery of the original wildfire burn area was apparent in the Day/Night Band image.

The GOES-16 Aerosol Optical Depth product (below) highlighted a plume of smoke aloft — originating from the Manitoba/Ontario fires — moving southward across Quebec, Canada and the Northeast US during the subsequent daytime hours. AOD values were as high as 1.0 within the plume.

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

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