Fires in western Quebec

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (click image to play animation)

Large fires had been burning in the Eastmain region of Quebec since the middle of June 2013, and on a number of days produced large amounts of smoke. One such day was 04 July 2013, when 1-km resolution GOES-13 0.63 µm visible channel images (above; click image to play animation) showed several dense plumes of smoke, along with the development of a pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud  after about 21:55 UTC. A well-defined pyroCb anvil casting a shadow on the smoke layer below was seen on the 23:02 UTC image.

The corresponding 4-km resolution GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (below; click image to play animation) revealed widespread fire “hot spots” (dark black to red pixels) that increased in areal coverage during the day.

GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

4-km resolution GOES-13 10.7 µm longwave IR images (below; click image to play animation) showed that the IR brightness temperature of the developing pyroCb cloud became colder than -20 C (cyan color enhancement) after 22:15 UTC, and eventually exhibited cloud top IR brightness temperatures around -40 C (green color enhancement).

GOES-13 10.7 µm longwave IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES-13 10.7 µm longwave IR images (click image to play animation)

On the following day (05 July), a 500-meter resolution Terra MODIS false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image created using MODIS bands 07/02/01 (below) showed several very large burn scars (red-to-brown in appearance, in contrast to the surrounding green live vegetation) — it has been estimated that over 5000 km2 has been burned by these wildfires so far.

Terra MODIS false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image

Terra MODIS false-color Red/Green/Blue (RGB) image

 

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