Home Environment & Climate Satellite imagery shows Russian wildfire smoke sucked by weather vortex

Satellite imagery shows Russian wildfire smoke sucked by weather vortex

Satellite captured an image of the wildfire smoke being drawn into the weather vortex circulation
Satellite captured an image of the wildfire smoke being drawn into the weather vortex circulation

Russia: Wildfires in Russia’s Far East has seen something of an upsurge this spring compared to the same period last year. One of the most dramatic of the fires has been burning along the west coast of Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula.

Wildfire is no stranger to the peninsula, but this one has created a bit of a remote sensing spectacle. To see what I mean, check out the animation of satellite images above. Make sure to click on it to view a larger, higher quality version.

The peninsula can be seen at the right side of the animation. Watch for thick plumes of grayish smoke streaming west out into the Sea of Okhotsk.

A weak low pressure system draws some of the smoke into its vortex circulation. Beneath the smoke, low level stratus clouds also swirl in the weather system’s circulation pattern.

The satellite image above shows a closer view of the fire and its smoke plume. Red outlines show hot spots where the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi-NPP satellite detected warm surface temperatures associated with burning.

I created the animation above to show the evolution of the wildfire, using imagery from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. It began on, or just after, May 25th, along the Khayryuzova River.

The tiny village of Ust’-Khayryuzovo is located along the sea coast near the river’s outlet. Perhaps some activity associated with the town was the cause of the fire. But that’s pure speculation on my part; I haven’t been able to find an account of what happened.

Source: Discover Magazine