MTSAT-2 0.68 µm visible channel and 3.75 µm shortwave IR channel images (above; click image to play animation) showed that numerous wildfires had developed over far southeastern Russia (near the Russia/Mongolia/China border) during the day on 29 March 2014. A portion of Lake Baikal is outlined in blue in the far upper left corner of the images; the largest of the still-frozen lakes seen in the lower center portion of the images was Hulun Lake in far northeastern China. The only regularly-reporting surface station in the area was Chita, Russia (station identifier UIAA) – note the sharp drop in dew point temperatures during the day, falling from +18º F (-7.8º C) at 22 UTC on 27 March to -4º F (-20.0º C) at 05 UTC on 28 March. This sharp drop in dew point was accompanied by westerly to northwesterly winds with sustained speeds of 20 knots (10.3 meters per second).
The corresponding MTSAT-2 10.8 µm IR channel images (below; click image to play animation) revealed that the large cluster of fires southeast of Chita generated a pyroCumulonimbus (pyroCb) cloud shortly before 09:32 UTC; the minimum IR brightness temperature of this pyroCb cloud was -46.6º C (lighter yellow color enhancement) at 10:32 UTC. However, the pyroCb cloud top IR brightness temperatures then began to rapidly warm after 11:32 UTC.