Large forest fire near Haifa

3 December 2010 10:00 UTC


Meteosat-9 observes a plume of smoke carried by easterly winds, originating from wildfires in the Carmel Mountains, north of Haifa.

Last Updated

13 June 2022

Published on

03 December 2010

By HansPeter Roesli (EUMETSAT)

At the time Israel was experiencing a severe drought, including its driest November in 60 years. After a long period of drought fires broke out on 2 December in the Mediterranean forest covering the Carmel Mountains south of Haifa. Lasting several days, easterly winds blew the smoke plumes out across the Mediterranean Sea. While the smoke plumes are only visible in daylight, a sizable hot spot is present for most of the time as shown by an animated sequence of images combining the HRV and IR3.9 channels (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Meteosat-9 HRV and IR3.9 channels, 2 December 08:00 UTC–4 December 15:00 UTC

The black-and-white HRV images are overlaid with the hottest pixels of the IR3.9 channel in red-to-yellow colours (for values above 307K).

Prominent smoke plumes were present most of the time over the sea, in particular on 3 December. Looking at their absolute reflection in SEVIRI channels VIS0.6, VIS0.8 and NIR1.6, it steadily decreased with increasing wave length (Figure 2).

Large forest fire near Haifa
Figure 2: Meteosat-9 VIS0.6 (top), VIS0.8 (middle) and NIR1.6 (bottom), 3 December 08:30 UTC

Between VIS0.6 and NIR1.6 the reflection decreases roughly by a factor of 3. This behaviour points to Rayleigh scattering, typical for smoke. Smoke usually consists of particles with sizes much smaller than the wave length of the observing channels, i.e. in the sub-micron range.

Large forest fire near Haifa
Figure 3: Meteosat-9 HRV, 3 December 2010, 08:30 UTC. Hhottest pixels of the IR3.9 channel overlaid in red-to-yellow colour. Animation (2 Dec 08:00 UTC–4 Dec 15:00 UTC) Animation HRV Channel (06:00–10:00 UTC)