Possible PyroCb in Southeast Russia

On 12 July there was a possibility for pyroCb development in southeast Russia. By using satellite imagery from the new Japanese satellite Himawari-8 it was confirmed that these clouds formed near the fires but were not technically pyroCb. Himawari-8 detected the smoke plume and clouds around the fires, as well as the fire hot spots. Starting at 04:00 UTC on 12 July, the animation below shows visible (.64 μm) on the left and shortwave IR (3.9 μm) on the right (click image to play animation). In the shortwave IR images the darker black to red pixels indicate very hot IR brightness temperatures exhibited by the fire source region.

Himawari-8 0.64 μm visible (left) and 3.9 μm shortwave IR (right) images (click to play animation)

Himawari-8 0.64 μm visible (left) and 3.9 μm shortwave IR (right) images (click to play animation)

In addition, using Himawari-8 10.4 μm IR channel imagery the minimum cloud-top IR brightness temperatures could be found. The animation below, starting at 04:00 UTC on 12 July, shows that the possbile pyroCb reached around  -55ºC (red color enhancement) at 8:00 UTC.

Himawari-8 10.4 μm IR images (click to play animation)

Himawari-8 10.4 μm IR images (click to play animation)

OMPS AI index image (courtesy of Colin Seftor) shows the transport of smoke. The image on 13 July shows a high AI value south of the fires discussed above. This is consistent with the animations above of a southward transport of this smoke.

OMPS Aerosol Index image on 13 July (click to enlarge)

OMPS Aerosol Index image on 13 July (click to enlarge)

Also looking at the CO mixing ratio image on 15 July (below, courtesy of Leonid Yurganov) shows a very high mixing ratio near the area where the possible pyroCb took place. According to the image the area around the wildfires has a CO mixing ratio of 220 ppbv (indicated by a dark red color), which is a very high mixing ratio.

CO Mixing Ratio on 15 July (click to enlarge)

CO Mixing Ratio on 15 July (click to enlarge)

Looking from above these smoke plumes are quite magnificent. The images (courtesy of Klaus) were taken approximately at 54 N 127 E at 08:00 UTC on 14 July. From the images the smoke plumes to be extending far up into the troposphere, possibly even parts of the lower stratosphere.

Smoke plumes in Asia on 14 July (click to enlarge)

Smoke plumes in Asia on 14 July (click to enlarge)

Smoke plumes in Asia on 14 July (click to enlarge)

Smoke plumes in Asia on 14 July (click to enlarge)

To further investigate the transport of smoke from this fire CALIPSO was used. This LIDAR shows the height of the clouds from the wildfire. The first image below is the 532nm Total Attenuated Backscatter plot on 12 July from 04:06 UTC to 04:19 UTC. The smoke from this fire can be seen around 52 N  indicated by a light grey color. This plot shows that the smoke is moving northeast. The next image is the Depolarization image the smoke is indicated by a red/pink color. The third image is 1064 nm Total Attenuated Backscatter plot, the smoke on this plot is indicated by a light grey color. The fourth image is the Attenuated Ratio plot between 1064 nm and 532 nm. The smoke is indicated by the teal and purple pixels. The final image is the Vertical Feature Mask. This plot shows the different features that are in the atmosphere, the smoke is attributed as a cloud on this plot and is indicated by a light blue color.

CALIPSO 532 nm Total Attenuated Backscatter on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO 532 nm Total Attenuated Backscatter on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO Depolarization Ration on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO Depolarization Ration on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO 1064 nm Total Attenuated Backscatter on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO 1064 nm Total Attenuated Backscatter on 12 July (click to enlarge)

CALIPSO Attenuated Color Ratio between 1064 nm and 532 nm on 12 July (click to enlarge image)

CALIPSO Attenuated Color Ratio between 1064 nm and 532 nm on 12 July (click to enlarge image)

CALIPSO Vertical Feature Mask on 12 July (click to enlarge image)

CALIPSO Vertical Feature Mask on 12 July (click to enlarge image)

3 Comments

  • Bryan Baum says:

    Really interesting to see first imagery loops of Himawari data-how many PyroCbs do you think occurred?

    • Anna Sienko says:

      I initially thought there were three pyroCbs, but when looking at the IR 3.9 micrometers there was no hot spot that produced the cloud so I just assumed it was regular cloud. I’m thinking just 2 pyroCbs, any thoughts?

      • Anna Sienko says:

        From Mike Fromm:
        There is an AI plume on the day after, so that’s a little ammunition for pyroCb. But that plume isn’t very impressive, and there have been other recent AI plumes in Siberia with no need for a pyroCb explanation. See
        http://acdb-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/People/Seftor/OMPS/world_2015_07_07.png
        http://acdb-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/People/Seftor/OMPS/world_2015_07_12.png
        To my eye the 3.9 BT isn’t as warm for the the most suspicious pyroCb as for a few of the regular Cb anvils. So the 3.9 by itself doesn’t seal the deal either. The only thing to my eye that says “pyroCb” is the proximity of the one storm to an intensifying hot-spot cluster.
        Are there any other channels on Himawari that could be used to see if these anvils are different?
        It might be helpful to follow the anvils longer to see if the suspicious one lasts significantly longer. If so, that would be more ammunition.

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