Smoke Plume Easily Visible on Satellite Monday Evening
The Monday evening sky looked no different than many other evenings across Central Plains, with the exception of a smoke plume snaking its way across much of Nebraska. The gray and brownish plume was from a wildfire which developed quickly on Monday afternoon, September 6th about 20 miles northwest of Boulder, Colorado. The fire began in Four Mile Canyon and quickly spread with relative humidities less than 10% and wind gusts up to 45 mph. The fire was responsible for destroying some homes triggering evacuations in its path. The plume quickly lifted high in the atmosphere, and was picked up in strong upper level winds near 100 mph. The plume spread in an arcing pattern from southwest to northeast Nebraska. Often times, smoke plume particles will result in a more vivid, red or orange color at sunset. Admittedly, this plume didn't seem to add much color to the sunset Monday evening.
The first image below is a visible satellite image of the smoke plume, and was taken early Monday evening. The image clearly depicts the origin of the wildfire northwest of Denver. The plume area has been outlined in red. Thunderstorms are also visible in the image along a cold front in southeast Kansas.
The second image below depicts doppler radar reflectivity of the smoke plume, and was also taken early Monday evening. The WSR-88D radar site is located at Front Range Airport, roughly 50 miles southeast of the fire.
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