Amazing images of California wildfires can be seen in these night-time satellite images taken by the NOAA-NASA Finland NPP satellite on August 20, 2020. At approximately 3:01 a.m. PDT, NOAA-NASA’s Finnish nuclear power plant was almost directly above and described the area at various frequencies VIIRS (Visible infrared) on your device. Large fires are easily visible in this picture. The day / night band at the Finland nuclear power plant clearly showed that the lights in the Central Valley were scattered from the smoke of both LNU and SCU Lightning Complexes.
California has large and persistent wildfires in much of the state, as well as a heat wave that has produced the so-called “heat dome” in most of the state. National Interagency Fire Meteorologist Nicky Nausler tweeted on Aug. 18: “7,000+ lightning strikes have ignited more than 350 fires, including several major fires and complexes in central and northern California.” The storms produced more than 53,262 lightning strikes, even though not all of them were from cloud to ground and some were across the Pacific, Chris Vagasky of the U.S. National Lightning Detention Organization said on Twitter. However, 13,845 were cloud-ground attacks. Some of the fires ignited by the strikes have merged into one and have become large fire complexes, such as the two largest complexes, the LNU Lightning Complex and the SCU Lightning Complex. The lightning that occurred in three and a half days is 9% of the amount that California usually sees in a year.
The LNU fire complex currently has 215,000 hectares and is 0% protected. The fire complex consists of seven lighters ignited by lightning on August 17 in the Napa Valley area. LNU stands for Lake Napa, a fire unit that is currently battling a fire complex. The LNU fire complex is now the ninth largest fire in California history. The second complex is the SCU complex, which has consumed 157,475 acres and contains 5%. This fire is more than 20 fire complexes and is located near Santa Clara, where it is controlled by the Santa Clara fire unit.
Some of these fires are so intense that they are able to “create” their own weather systems. Forest fires produce hot air that rises and forms high tide. As the air rises, the moisture in the upper atmosphere cools and condenses the ash into water droplets, which also rise and form a cloud. A cloud produced by a fire is called a pyrocumulus or “fire cloud.” If the fire is large enough, a pyrocumulonimbus cloud can form, which is not only a fire cloud, but also a storm cloud that can produce winds and lightning, continuing the cycle by adding fires. Upgrades can also produce tornadoes or even “fires” when the ascent occurs so fast that it creates a turbulent effect and a fireball is created.
A prolonged heat wave, dry forest conditions and unusual storms in August together make up the current situation in California. Face masks, used only to combat the new coronavirus, have also become a means of protecting residents from the effects of smoke, which also masks the state.
Currently, more than 48,000 people have been evacuated from the state due to the current wildfire situation.
NASA satellite gauges are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote areas, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to earthlords around the world within hours of the satellite crossing. Together, NASA instruments actively detect burning fires, monitor the movement of fire smoke, provide information for fire management, and map the extent of ecosystem change based on the extent and severity of burns. NASA has a fleet of Earth observation devices, many of which help understand fire on Earth. Satellites orbiting the poles detect the entire planet several times a day, while satellites in geostationary orbit provide coarse-resolution images of fires, smoke, and clouds every five or 15 minutes. More information: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/fires/main/missions/index.html
Photo: NOAA / NASA / William Straka U., W-Madison / CIMSS / SSEC. Caption: Lynn Jenner and William Straka, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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