NASA: USA - Aftermath of Colorado’s Most Destructive Wildfire - Canada - Quebec - A Vertical View of Wildfire Smoke as it Heads to Sea - 11.07.13

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 18:34

Aftermath of Colorado’s Most Destructive Wildfire
acquired June 21, 2013 download large image (5 MB, JPEG, 3408x3408)
acquired June 21, 2013 download GeoTIFF file (29 MB, TIFF)
Aftermath of Colorado’s Most Destructive Wildfire
acquired June 20, 2013 download large image (428 KB, JPEG, 2100x1500)
acquired June 21, 2013 download Google Earth file (KML)
The first 911 call for the Black Forest fire came on June 11, 2013. Nine days later, firefighters had fully contained the blaze, but not before it had devastated a wooded suburb of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The fire charred more than 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares), destroying 509 homes and killing two people. The Black Forest fire was the most destructive in the state’s history, eclipsing the Waldo Canyon fire that struck another part of the Colorado Springs area in 2012.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite acquired this view of the burn scar on June 21, 2013. Vegetation-covered land is red in the false-color image, which includes both visible and infrared light. Patches of unburned forest are bright red. Unburned grasslands are pink. The darkest gray and black areas are the most severely burned. Buildings, roads, and other developed areas appear light gray and white. The lower image, a photograph taken on June 20, shows a charred section of Black Forest.
The most severe damage occurred north of Shoup Road, but the severity varied widely by neighborhood. Cathedral Pines, for instance, escaped largely unscathed. Many residents of that neighborhood put rocks around their homes, removed vegetation and dead trees from their yards, avoided using mulch, and followed other fire prevention strategies that helped keep flames back long enough for fighters to save homes, the Denver Post reported.
One key building that escaped the flames was Edith Wolford elementary school. Though it was in the middle of an area that was severely burned, the school survived intact partly because of the large, treeless parking lot surrounding it.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using data from NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Lower photograph courtesy of the Great Basin National Incident Management Team. Caption by Adam Voiland.
Terra - ASTER

A Vertical View of Wildfire Smoke as it Heads to Sea

A Vertical View of Wildfire Smoke as it Heads to Sea
Color bar for A Vertical View of Wildfire Smoke as it Heads to Sea
acquired June 23, 2013 download large image (5 MB, JPEG, 8000x8000)
acquired June 23, 2013 download GeoTIFF file (130 MB, TIFF)
Meteorologists closely monitor smoke plumes from wildfires because smoke can spread across vast distances and pose significant health hazards, particularly to children and the elderly. With numerous wildfires burning in North America in June 2013, there has been plenty to keep smoke-watchers busy.
Understanding how high wildfires send smoke into the atmosphere is key to predicting where and how a plume will spread. Smoke lofted above the boundary layer—the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground, where topography has a significant impact on winds—will spread farther than smoke that remains trapped near the surface.
The images above offer two views of smoke from a large wildfire that was burning in Quebec, Canada, in June 2013. Several satellites observed the smoke plume as it was moving east over Newfoundland toward the Atlantic Ocean.
The background (top) image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite at 1:05 local time (16:05 Universal Time) on June 23, 2013. It shows a true-color view of the smoke plume from above. The image has been rotated so that north is to the left; this is to line the image up with the north-south flight path (marked in red) of the CALIPSO satellite.
The lower image is based on data acquired at 1:14 p.m. local time (16:14 UTC) by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) instrument on CALIPSO. The instrument sent pulses of laser light (lidar) down through the atmosphere and recorded the reflections to generate a vertical profile of the smoke plume. The sensor detected smoke between about 2 and 6 kilometers (1.2 and 3.7 miles)—high enough that some of it was above the boundary layer. The height of the boundary layer varies, but it generally extends to a maximum of a few kilometers in eastern Canada.
Once the smoke was above the boundary layer, winds transported it east over the Atlantic Ocean. The MODIS instruments on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites acquired imagery of the smoke moving across the Atlantic on June 24, and June 25. By June 26, the smoke had reached western Europe. By June 27, it was over the Mediterranean Sea.
Occasionally, wildfires generate enough convection to send smoke plumes out of the troposphere and into the stratosphere, a layer of the atmosphere that generally begins between 8 and 16 kilometers (5 and 9 miles) from the surface.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using expediated data provided by the CALIPSO team. Caption by Adam Voiland, with information from Scott Bachmeier (University of Wisconsin), Colin Seftor (NASA GSFC), and Rene Servranckx (Canadian Meteorological Centre).
NASA: USA - Aftermath of Colorado’s Most Destructive Wildfire - Canada - Quebec - A Vertical View of Wildfire Smoke as it Heads to Sea - 11.07.13

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