Conditions have been very warm and dry lately in parts of the Southern Plains and the Southwest. This has resulted in a few blowing dust events and over the last 24 hours or so, and some very large grass fires in the open prairie. Take a look at this loop of GOES 3.9 um imagery from 1655 UTC to 2115 UTC today, to see this rapid expansion of a very large fire ongoing on the Oklahoma/Kansas border, encompassing Comanche, Barber and Woods Counties. The black colors represent the fire hot spots developing and expanding in the very dry and windy conditions. In fact, widespread wind gusts around 40 to 50 mph were common in the region today.
This fire even showed quite up well last night in the Suomi NPP VIIRS Day-Night Band imagery.
Interestingly, the smoke from these grass fires is apparently not sufficiently dense or reflective to show up very well in the nighttime visible imagery. Only a faint wisp of smoke can be seen extending to the NE of the fire in the prevailing direction of the surface wind last night.
Meanwhile, the Dust RGB showed significant dust plumes in and around the region…