Widespread smoke over Russia

Smoke over Russia

18–31 July 2016 04:00 UTC

Widespread smoke over Russia
Widespread smoke over Russia

Widespread smoke over Russia clearly seen on Meteosat Natural Colour RGB imagery on the morning of 25 July 2016.

Last Updated

09 August 2021

Published on

25 July 2016

By Jekaterina Služenikina (Estonian Environment Agency ) and Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

From 18 July 2016 areas of a bluish-cyan colour started to appear on Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB images — most clearly seen in the early morning around 04:00 UTC. These areas were smoke, which came from the east (eastern Russia and Siberia) and started to spread widely to the southwest.

By 25 July the area with bluish-cyan colour had spread widely over Russia, Belarus and Ukraine (Figure 1).

 Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB, 25 July 04:00 UTC
Figure 1: Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB, 25 July 04:00 UTC

By 26 July, the smoke had reached the Black Sea (Figure 2) and by 28 July it reached the Mediterranean Sea (Greece and Turkey) (Figure 3).

 
 Met-9, 26 July, 04:00 UTC
Figure 2: Met-9, 26 July, 04:00 UTC
Natural Cololur RGB
 
 Met-9, 28 July, 04:00 UTC
Figure 3: Met-9, 28 July, 04:00 UTC
Natural Colour RGB

The progress of the smoke can be seen in the animation of the Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB animation , taken at 04:00 UTC every day from 18–31 July.

The area of dense smoke was spread in the lower levels of atmosphere because the high-level clouds were seen above this area.

The very good combination of channels in the Natural Colour RGB (1.6 µm–0.8 µm–0.6 µm) helps to detect such features as the smoke, which can only be slightly seen on infrared-based RGB combinations such as the Dust RGB, as can be seen in Figures 4 and 5.

 Met-10, 20 July, 04:00 UTC
Figure 4: Met-10, 20 July, 04:00 UTC
Natural Cololur RGB
 
 Met-10, 20 July, 04:00 UTC
Figure 5: Met-10, 20 July, 04:00 UTC
Dust RGB

In the northeastern part of the globe the smoke can be detected in the early morning because the Sun's rays were low at that moment and very small particles show the large forward scattering properties at the shortest visible wavelengths.

The massive smoke from the Russian fires was also seen on Himawari-08 AHI True Colour RGB imagery, although from the opposite direction (and covering the central part of Russia, not western Russia).

The smoke appeared as a hazy, white/grey feature on the edge of the Himawari-08 field of view, see True Color animation , 21 July 22:10 UTC–22 July 12:30 UTC (source: CIRA). Some pyro-Cumulonimbus clouds could be seen in the northern part of the area, but it is quite hard to distinguish the smoke from the smoke-polluted Cb clouds that have nearly the same colour.