Wildfire seen on Radar/Satellite

A wildfire that started on the afternoon of May 22nd south of Au Train can be seen on satellite and radar imagery. The first image is visible satellite, which measures how reflective things are. The brighter locations are thicker clouds (more reflective) and the darker are clear skies or non-reflective surfaces. You can see a dim location (circled) of brighter white color, which is the smoke from the small wildfire.

 

You can also see the smoke from the wildfire on radar. The radar is detecting the smoke particles, shown as a lighter area of reflectivity (right). Using dual pol data (left), the low correlation coefficient tells us the particles are not similarly shaped (like smoke debris). If this were a rain shower, it would have a higher correlation coefficient.

    

 

Here is a loop of the radar and satellite. Note how the smoke can be tracked by the correlation coefficient (lower right) for much longer than the other three images. On the lower left satellite image, the fire shows up as a dark "hot spot" briefly at the beginning of the loop.



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.