Smoke from widespread wildfires which ravaged parts of Portugal in early August 2016, was seen by Meteosat-10 on 8 August.
22 October 2020
08 August 2016
By Mark Higgins
The imagery, Figure 1 (above right) and animation, shows the smoke as a light blue colour (indicated with red arrows on Figure 1) travelling from the fires across the Atlantic Ocean . The red hot spots are identified from the 3.9 micron channel. These are often indicative of burning areas.
Although wildfires are common in the summer months, a state of emergency was declared in northern Portugal after more than 700 fires raged for days.
Fires on Maderia
In the following days the Portuguese island of Maderia was also hit be severe wildfires. Figure 2 is the Meteosat-10 image showing the hotspots where fires were present.
Thousands were evacuated, hundreds of properties were damaged and at least three people died as a result of the fires.
The two Suomi-NPP VIIRS images, at 375m resolution, from 10 Aug 14:15 UTC (Figure 3), show more details of the fires in the early afternoon.
The Natural Colour RGB (left) shows burnt scars (blue-grey), flame marks (orange pixels), two of which are found in the eastern burn scar (near Funchal), and two smoke plumes driven off the southern coast by the north-eastern trade winds.
When the hot spots, pixels with temperature around 320 K taken from band IR3.74, are added to the RGB (right), the extent of the two areas set on fire is very visible.
The sequence of Natural Colour RGB , 10 Aug 08:00–18:00 UTC shows the bluish smoke that moves of the coast under north-east trade winds.
While at the beginning of the movie the smoke is essentially originating from the north west corner of Madeira, during the day a second fire area became active near Funchal, sending out a second smoke plume.
Smoke from Fires on Mainland Portugal (NASA Goddard)
Thousands of Firefighters Battle Forest Blazes in Portugal (ABC News)
Northern Portugal declares forest fire emergency (Euronews)
Fiery night for Portugal (The Portugal News)
Previous case studies
Latest case studies
Tracking the Gulf Stream with satellite data
Using satellite data from multiple satellite instruments to track the Gulf Stream.
Destructive eruption of volcano Nyiragongo
In the evening of 22 May 2021 volcano Nyiragongo started to erupt, threatening life and property.
Super Typhoon Surigae
Super Typhoon Surigae was the strongest ever early season typhoon in the North Pacific.
Geldingadalir eruptions affect cloud microphysics
Altered cloud microphysical structure above Geldingadalir eruptions, April 2021.
Major eruption of La Soufrière volcano
Major eruption of the Caribbean volcano La Soufrière in early April 2021.