2 pyrocumulonimbus clouds produced by the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire in New Mexico

June 14th, 2022 |

GOES-17 “Red” Visible (0.64 µm, top left), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm, top right), Infrared Window (10.35 µm, bottom left) and Cloud Top Temperature derived product (bottom right) [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

1-minute Mesoscale Domain Sector GOES-17 (GOES-West) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm), “Clean” Infrared Window (10.35 µm) and Cloud Top Temperature derived product images (above) showed that the Calf Canyon Fire/Hermits Peak Fire in northeastern New Mexico produced a pair of pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) clouds on 14 June 2022. Extreme fire behavior was aided by surface wind gusts as high as 60 mph and very dry air within the boundary layer. Ths large fire burned very hot, with 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperatures reaching 138.71ºC — the saturation temperature of ABI Band 7 detectors — for extended periods of time. Coldest 10.35 µm cloud-top brightness temperatures exhibited by the pyroCb cloud were around -46ºC (lighter blue enhancement), with the Cloud Top Temperature product showing values as cold as -61ºC (green pixels). This was the 4th day of pyroCb production by this fire — following previous events on 14 May, 10 May and 01 May.

In a toggle between Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images valid at 2051 UTC (below), the True Color image highlighted the smoke plume while the False Color image showed the active fires (brighter shades of pink) along with the size of the burn scar (shades of brown).

Suomi-NPP VIIRS True Color RGB and False Color RGB images valid at 2051 UTC [click to enlarge]

Using Polar Hyperspectral Model forecasts of CAPE with a sea breeze front

June 14th, 2022 |
GOES-16 Visible (Band 2, 0.64 µm) Imagery, 1600 to 2100 UTC on 14 September 2022 (Click to enlarge)

One the forecast offices selected on 14 June 2022 in the Hazardous Weather Testbed was Tallahassee (WFO TAE). The animation above shows the evolution of a seabreeze front that moves slowly northward (as a mesoscale complex, part of a system that produced widespread wind damage earlier in the day (storm reports from 13 June and 14 June), moves southward). Convection develops along the sea breeze front. The animation of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), below, from the Polar Hyperspectral Modeling System, shows a local maximum of CAPE along the coast initially; it then propagates inland with time. The 1- and 2-h forecasts predict with accuracy where the CAPE associated with the sea breeze front will be. That’s perhaps easier to view in the animation at the bottom that has the model CAPE field semi-transparent on top of the visible (0.64 µm) imagery.

Forecast fields of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), 1600 to 2100 UTC on 14 June 2022 (click to enlarge)

GOES-16 Visible (Band 2, 0.64 µm) imagery overlain with PHS values of CAPE, 1600 to 2100 UTC on 14 June 2022 (Click to enlarge)

Additional Hazardous Weather Testbed blog posts can be found here. The third and final week of HWT concludes on Friday the 17th.

Vehicle accident and fire in southeastern Wisconsin

June 14th, 2022 |

GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Day Land Cloud RGB images [click to play animated GIF | MP4]

GOES-16 (GOES-East) Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) and Day Land Cloud RGB images (above) showed the subtle signature of black smoke which resulted from a vehicle accident and fire (several miles west of Interstate 94) in far southeastern Wisconsin on 14 June 2022. The smoke plume quickly dispersed as it moved rapidly northeastward. Even though the fire was quite small, a single 3.9 µm pixel located over the crash site briefly peaked at a brightness temperature of 40.06ºC at 1546 UTC (single image | animation).

GOES-16 True Color RGB images created using Geo2Grid (below) provided another view of the brief black smoke plume.

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