Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
Breaking News
INTERGEO 2017: Geodyn Provides for the WHAT, WHERE & WHEN
Geodyn presents its innovative image conversion and processing technology....
Drone Security Issues to Be Focus of Two-Part Educational Session at Drone World Expo
SAN JOSE, Calif.-Drone technology has advanced rapidly over the...
Vaisala Opens Africa Weather Services Hub in Kenya
Responding to the growing demand, Vaisala opens a permanent...
GeoCue Group Provides Free LIDAR Data for Hurricane Impact Areas
Huntsville, AL – GeoCue Group, in partnership with the...
SAS Manufacturing Unveils Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing Facility in Arvada, Colorado
ARVADA, Colo. - SAS Manufacturing LLC yesterday unveiled a...

An image acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite shows Fort McMurray on May 4, 2016. This false-color image combines shortwave-infrared, near-infrared and green light (bands 5-4-2). On this day, the fire spanned about 100 square kilometers; by the morning of May 5, it spanned about 850 square kilometers. Also visible in the image is the fire’s complex pattern, with many active fronts. (Credit: NASA)

An image acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite shows Fort McMurray on May 4, 2016. This false-color image combines shortwave-infrared, near-infrared and green light (bands 5-4-2). On this day, the fire spanned about 100 square kilometers; by the morning of May 5, it spanned about 850 square kilometers. Also visible in the image is the fire’s complex pattern, with many active fronts. (Credit: NASA)

In early May 2016, a destructive wildfire burned through Canada’s Fort McMurray in the Northern Alberta region, forcing the evacuation of more than 80,000 people. Windy, dry and unseasonably hot conditions set the stage for the fire. Winds gusted more than 20 miles per hour, fanning the flames in an area where rainfall totals have been well below normal in 2016.

Satellite observations detected the area’s unusual heat. For example, a temperature anomaly map was based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The intense heat coincided with a weather pattern called an omega block, where a large area of high pressure stalled the usual progression of storms from west to east. In Alberta, that left sinking, hot air parked over the region while the block was in place. According to Robert Field, a Columbia University scientist based at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, El Niño likely also played a role in the warmth.

“There can be bigger fires, but, in Alberta at least, rarely are they so close to so many people,” noted Field.

 

Comments are closed.