Himawari-8 Visible (0.64 µm), Shortwave Infrared (3.9 µm) and Longwave Infrared Window (10.4 µm) images (above / MP4 ; zoomed-in over fire source region: GIF / MP4) showed wildfires burning in New South Wales, Australia on 12 February 2017. The larger Sir Ivan fire near Dunedoo produced a pyroCb cloud, which first cooled below the Longwave Infrared brightness temperature threshold of -40ºC at 0530 UTC (-47ºC) and quickly reached its minimum temperature of -56.6ºC at 0540 UTC. According to the Melbourne rawinsonde data (plot | text), this temperature corresponded to an altitude of nearly 14 km. An animation of Himawari-8 true-color images is available here (courtesey of Dan Lindsey).
Himawari-8 0.64 µm Visible (top), 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared (middle) and 10.4 µm Longwave Infrared Window (bottom) images [click to play animation]
Consecutive true-color images from Suomi NPP VIIRS (0402 UTC) and Aqua MODIS (0405 UTC) viewed using RealEarth (below) showed the large smoke plume about 1.5 hours prior to pyroCb development.
Suomi NPP VIIRS and Aqua MODIS true-color images [click to enlarge]
A high fire danger was well-anticipated across this portion of Australia:
Some ground-based photos of the pyroCb cloud:
Suomi NPP OMPS Aerosol Index images (courtesy of Colin Seftor) shows the transport of smoke on 12 February . The maximum AI was found to be 9.3 at 32.6 S 150.9 E around 4:02 UTC. This max AI is near the source of the pyroCb.
OMPS Aerosol Index image on 12 February