Kilimanjaro on African savannah. Credit: byrdyak

Cloud-free Mount Kilimanjaro

29 July 2004 00:00 UTC

Kilimanjaro on African savannah. Credit: byrdyak
Kilimanjaro on African savannah. Credit: byrdyak

A cloud-free Mount Kilimanjaro could be seen from space in July 2004.

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Published on

29 July 2004

By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Africa. Kibo Summit (5,893 m) at the top of Kilimanjaro is one of the few peaks in Africa to retain glaciers.The Meteosat-8 images below show the Kilimanjaro mountain during a cloud-free situation in July 2004, i.e. during the long dry season from June to September (as compared to the shorter dry season from December to February). The horizontal resolution of Meteosat-8 is just about good enough to detect the snow/ice covered mountain top, which is about two/six pixels in size in the IR/HRV channels, respectively. Around the snow/ice covered top one can see an inner ring of bare soil (dark brown colour in the RGB NIR1.6, VIS0.8, VIS0.6 composite, see interpretation) and an outer ring of vegetated land (green colour).

Other interesting features seen in the images below are Lake Natron in Tanzania, which is a reddish lake with a salt crust that appears on the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance: Lake Eyasi can be seen further to the south-west. Also, an isolated thunderstorm is visible over Lake Victoria. It is rather common to see deep convective storms over the Lake in the morning hours, as it is part of a diurnal variation with convective storms in the areas around the lake in the afternoon (due to diurnal heating of the land surfaces and sea breeze convergence) and storms over the lake during the night and early morning (due to nocturnal land breeze convergence over the lake, see Analysis of Convective Activity and Its Relationship to the Rainfall over the Rift Valley Lakes of East Africa during 1983–90 Using the Meteosat Infrared Channel (Mamoudou B. and S. E. Nicholson)).

Met-8, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite NIR1.6, VIS0.8, VIS0.6, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC. Interpretation
Met-8, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-8 RGB Composite VIS0.8, IR3.9r, IR10.8, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC
Met-8, 29 July, 09:00 UTC
Figure 3: Meteosat-8 Channel 12 (HRV), 29 July, 09:00 UTC
Met-8, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC
Figure 4: Meteosat-8 HRV, 29 July 2004, 09:00 UTC

Additional content

Terra MODIS image of Mount Kilimanjaro (4 Feb 2003, 08:05 UTC. Source: NASA)
Terra ASTER image of Lake Natron (8 March 2003. Source: NASA and Aster Science Team)