Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires continue in New Mexico

May 5th, 2022 |

The Calf Canyon fire, which began on April 19, 2022, and the Hermits Peak fire, which began on April 6, 2022, both continue to burn in northern New Mexico. (Recently posted on the CIMSS blog here and here.) The Hermits Peak fire began as a prescribed burn under what were believed to be favorable conditions. The district ranger of the Las Vegas Ranger District is quoted to have said “Our prescribed burn from last Wednesday was the cause of the Hermits Peak Fire. With that said, we take full responsibility and with a heavy heart, we are really sorry for what happened.”

The wildfires combined on April 23, 2022, but can be seen in the GOES-16 imagery below to now exist in two separate areas in western Mora and San Miguel counties.

GOES-16 visible Band 2 (0.64 micron) imagery showing wildfire burning in New Mexico from 15:51 UTC to 16:46 UTC on 05-May-2022.
GOES-16 derived fire temperature overlayed on Band 2 imagery, from 15:51 UTC to 16:46 UTC on 05-May-2022.
A containment map of the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires as of 05-May-2022.

SAR data over Hawai’i

May 5th, 2022 |
Sentinel-1 SAR data around 0430 UTC overlain on top of GOES-17 ABI Shortwave IR (3.9 µm) at 0430 UTC on 5 May 2022 (Click to enlarge)

This NOAA/OSPO website shows regions where SAR data are available each day. SAR data can also be imported into AWIPS, as shown in the animation above, which animation has the SAR data overlain on top of GOES-17 Band 7 (Shortwave IR, 3.9 µm) data. Note that SAR winds are not valid over the land — the stronger returns over the islands are instead telling you something about the surface. (Compare this image to a Landsat image — there’s a good correlation!)

A zoomed-in version of the imagery over the ?Alenuih?h? Channel between the Big Island of Hawai’i and Maui is shown below as a toggle between the 3.9 µm and the winds. The significant funneling between the two islands is readily apparent, with winds increasing from about 15 knots northeast of the Big Island to closer to 25 knots within the channel.

GOES-17 Band 7 shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) imagery with SAR winds overlain, 0430/0431 UTC on 5 May 2022 (click to enlarge)

A zoom-in over Maui and Molokai, below, details winds around those islands as well, with strong winds between Molokai and Lanai, and an apparent col to the lee of Maui.

GOES-17 Band 7 shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) imagery with SAR winds overlain, 0430/0431 UTC on 5 May 2022 (click to enlarge)

Farther north, over the open Pacific to the north of the Hawai’ian Islands, SAR data shows enhancements in wind underneath structures that are apparent in the Band 7 imagery!

GOES-17 Band 7 shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) imagery with SAR winds overlain, 0430/0432 UTC on 5 May 2022 (click to enlarge)

SAR Observations of Red River of the North Flooding

May 5th, 2022 |
RCM3 NRCS footprints from south to north, 00:13:28 through 00:13:55 on 5 May 2022 (click to enlarge)

Data on this website (if you click through to 5 May 2022) shows regions where the RCM constellation has produced data. There are very small footprint scenes (shown below) over the Red River of the North, where flooding is ongoing (blog post 1; blog post 2). The Normalized Radar Cross Section (NRCS) imagery within those small footprints is shown sequentially, from south to north, above. The NRCS imagery gives very high-resolution snapshots of flooded regions. This NRCS image from 00:13:39 has the largest extent of flooding within it.

A single image that shows the 6 scenes, aligned from south to north, is available here. (Warning: It’s large)

SAR Wind Imagery site, zoomed in over the North Dakota/Minnesota border (Click to enlarge)

Data were also available from earlier in May. Compare this RCM2 NRCS image from 00:29:27 on 3 May to this RCM3 NRCS image from 00:05:41 on 4 May to this RCM3 NRCS from 00:13:39 on May 5th. Flooding has expanded slightly over the two days.