Another pyrocumulonimbus cloud spawned by the Calf Canyon Fire in New Mexico

May 14th, 2022 |

GOES-18 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, center) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.3 µm, bottom) images, with hourly plots of surface reports [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

Preliminary / non-operational GOES-18 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) images (above) showed that the Calf Canyon Fire/Hermits Peak Fire in northern New Mexico produced another another pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud on 14 May 2022 — following 2 previous pyroCb events on 10 May and 01 May. This particular pyroCb first exhibited cloud-top infrared brightness temperature (IR BT) values of -40C and colder (shades of blue in the bottom panel) at 2211 UTC, and later attained IR BTs in the -50s C (shades of red in the bottom panel).

A comparison of Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB, False Color RGB, Infrared Window and Shortwave Infrared images valid at 2032 UTC is shown below. These VIIRS images were acquired and processed using the Direct Broadcast ground station at SSEC/CIMSS.

Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB, False Color RGB, Infrared Window (11.45 µm) and Shortwave Infrared (3.74 µm) images [click to enlarge]