Rim Fire Update – August 21

GOES-15 visible (left) and shortwave infrared (right) imagery (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 visible (left) and shortwave infrared (right) imagery (click image to play animation)

As the Rim Fire continues to burn near Yosemite National Park in California on August 21st, 2013, another pyrocumulonimbus has spawned from the complex. Looking at the GOES-15 visible imagery (above, left; click image to play animation), a large plume of cloud can be seen erupting from the fire, centered approximately at 38N 120W, at about 22 UTC. The GOES-15 shortwave infrared imagery (above, right; click image to play animation), depicts a large hot spot (red pixel enhancement) at the source point of this pyroCb plume.

GOES-15 longwave infrared imagery (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 longwave infrared imagery (click image to play animation)

The GOES-15 longwave infrared imagery (above; click image to play animation) shows the cloud top brightness temperature values of the pyroCb as it is whisked off to the northwest. The pyroCb–indicated by the thin green-colored strip emanating from the source fire at ~22:30 UTC–has a brightness temperature of about -40º Celsius near its time of birth and a brightness temperature closer to -50º C as it drifts further northwest, conglomerating with another convective system.

MODIS true-color and false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

MODIS true-color and false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) images

The pyroCb event was captured by AQUA, one of the two MODIS polar-orbiting satellites. Looking at the true-color and false-color MODIS imagery (above), one can see not only impressive span of the fire (indicated by the charred-red color in the false-color imagery), but also a large plume of smoke and cloud rising from fire complex.

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