On 8 July 2013, a Pyrocumulonimbus (PyroCb) was detected by GOES-15 imagery in the Northwest Territory of Canada, just east of the Yukon Territory border and north of the British Columbia border. The above two images at 22:30 UTC show the PyroCb anvil in the visible wavelength, hot fire pixels in the Shortwave IR wavelength, and cloud-top temperatures of -40˚ C and colder in the Longwave IR (for the feature circled in red). The feature circled in white is a possible second PyroCb event. We don’t know if the event in white is a result of a PyroCb from the nearby fire or a normal convective cumulonimbus cloud.
On the GOES-15 Visible and Shortwave IR images (above, click image to play animation) a number of fire hotspots were detected beginning at 20:00 UTC, followed by the development of Pyrocumulus clouds and an isolated PyroCb. Fire hotspots appear as black to red pixels in the Shortwave IR.
Using the GOES-15 Longwave IR imagery (above, click image to play animation), we were able to see the cloud-top temperatures associated with the PyroCb in the center of image (Latitude: 62.5 N, Longitude: 122.3 W) become colder than -40˚C (green color enhancement) after 22:00 UTC and shortly died out after 23:30 UTC.
The animation above is true color images from our two polar orbiting satellites, Terra and Aqua. One image is from the morning and the second image is from the afternoon. Two fires are located at 62.5 N, 122.3 W in the center of the images and the third fire is located at 62 N, 121 W, southeast of the two center fires.