Chemtool facility fire in Rockton, Illinois

June 14th, 2021 |

GOES-16 "Red Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Fire Power (bottom left) and Fire Temperature (bottom right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), Fire Power and Fire Temperature derived products (above) showed the dark black smoke plume and thermal signature of a fire from an explosion at the Lubrizon Corporation Chemtool facility at Rockton in far northern Illinois on 14 June 2021. The thick smoke plume obscured the satellite’s view of the fire point source much of the time, preventing the continuous derivation of Fire Power and Fire Temperature products (and masking the thermal anomaly in the Shortwave Infrared images).

However, a comparison of Shortwave Infrared images from GOES-17 (GOES-West) and GOES-16 (below) revealed that the western satellite’s viewing angle allowed the thermal anomaly of the fire source (hot black-enhanced pixel) to be seen for a longer time period — even after the dark smoke plume had become well established.

Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images from GOES-17 (left) and GOES-16 (right) [click to play animation | MP4]

Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) images from GOES-17 (left) and GOES-16 (right) [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) images with plots of pilot reports (below) indicated that the smoke existed at altitudes of 2500 to 3000 feet, but was not restricting the surface visibility at sites that were downwind of the fire.

GOES-16 Near-Infrared "Vegetation" (0.86 µm) image, with plots of pilot reports and airport ceilings and visibility [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) images, with plots of pilot reports (yellow) and airport ceilings and visibility (cyan) [click to enlarge]

Closer views of GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” images created using Geo2Grid (below) showed the southward transport of dark smoke as the fire continued to burn into the afternoon hours.

GOES-16 Near-Infrared "Vegetation" (0.86 µm) images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) images (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS) [click to play animation | MP4]

Due to the very dark character of this particular smoke plume, it showed up much better against the more reflective surface in 0.86 µm imagery (compared to 0.64 µm “Red” Visible imagery), as seen in the image toggle below.

GOES-16 "Red" Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared "Vegetation" (0.86 µm) images at 1516 UTC (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS) [click to enlarge]

GOES-16 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Near-Infrared “Vegetation” (0.86 µm) images at 1516 UTC (credit: Tim Schmit, NOAA/NESDIS) [click to enlarge]

The dark smoke plume was also evident in various GOES-16 RGB combinations, such as True Color, Day Land Cloud, and Day Snow Fog (below). True Color RGB images showed that the smoke eventually drifted over far western Indiana.

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

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

GOES-16 Day Land Cloud RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Land Cloud RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Snow Fog RGB images [click to play animation | MP4]

GOES-16 Day Snow Fog RGB images (credit: Tim Schmit/NOAA/NESDIS) [click to play animation | MP4]

 

 

 

Near-surface winds over the south Pacific Ocean

June 14th, 2021 |

SAR Winds over the South Pacific, latitude/longitudes as indicated, at 0544 UTC on 14 June 2021 (click to enlarge)

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) winds from RCM1 (RADARSAT Constellation Mission 1) over the south Pacific Ocean, from this site, show a gradient in wind speeds between 165 W and 168 W. Are there other ways to view this type of wind change over the open ocean?

GOES-17 Derived Motion wind vectors, below, showing 0500 UTC wind speeds between 950 and 800 mb (a different level than the near-surface winds from the SAR data), from Real Earth, below, do not clearly show the difference in winds over this same domain.

GOES-17 Enhanced window infrared (10.3 µm, Band 13) and 950-800 mb winds, 0500 UTC on 14 June 2021 (click to enlarge).  Note that the latitude lines shown are 19.5, 22 and 24.5 South.  The cold cloud top feature near the edge of this scene is also apparent at the beginning of the animation below.

GOES-17 Shortwave infrared imagery from the same time in that region, below, shows consistent westward motion at low levels (it’s hard to distinguish from this animation if the low-level wind speeds change across the domain; the cloud motions are all similar) with eastward motion aloft (that, is: considerable shear!)

GOES-17 3.9 µm imagery over the South Pacific, latitudes/longitude lines shown, from 0500 to 0600 UTC on 14 June 2021 (Click to enlarge)

SAR winds can give information over the open ocean that is difficult to find in other places.