MODIS provides early detection of local fires in Fall/Winter

With the vegetation becoming dormant and dry air penetrating the southern CONUS there have been more and more Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings, or so it seems from the frequent alerts via my “smartphone”. The first image shows the MODIS True Color imagery from November 9, 2010 at 1633 UTC (10:33 AM local).  Many land and coastal features are evident due to a mostly cloud-free scene, but no fire concerns appear to exist from this State Scale view in D-2d. However, at this scale the value of the high-resolution MODIS data may not be obvious. Image 2 zooms into the eastern portion of the Mobile, AL WFO (southern AL and western FL panhandle) and a hint of what looks like smoke plumes can be seen in Escambia and Covington counties.  Image 3 shows the MODIS 3.9 micron channel (1 km) in the same area, and hot spots are in similar locations as the possible smoke plumes, in addition to a few other hot spots.  These two are easily combined in D-2d for the resulting fourth image shown below.  This early morning indication of such small-scale hot spots and smoke helps provide an awareness to the forecaster who is then better able to answer questions from the public and county emergency managers as well as to include special statements about smoke drifting into populated areas. This is just one of many examples of smoke plumes in the True Color imagery we’ve seen in the recent days.  SPoRT welcomes more posts on this application and its impact in your own local area.

MODIS True Color Image in State Scale of D-2d

Image 1. MODIS True Color Image in State Scale of D-2d for November 9, 2010 at 1633 UTC

 

MODIS True Color Image zoomed

Image 2. MODIS True Color Image zoomed into eastern MOB WFO.

MODIS 3.9um zoomed into eastern MOB WFO

Image 3. MODIS 3.9um zoomed into eastern MOB WFO

MODIS True Color and 3.9um combined in D-2d

Image 4. MODIS True Color and 3.9um combined in D-2d

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