Wildfires in Greece

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In the night of 16/17 July wildfires broke out in the extreme south-eastern corner of the Peloponnese peninsula.

Wildfires in Greece
Date & Time
17 July 2015 05:00–15:00 UTC
Meteosat-10, SNPP
High Resolution Visible (HRV), Natural Colour RGB

By HansPeter Roesli

Driven by the Etesians (strong, dry north winds of the Aegean Sea) a smoke streak travelled across the Mediterranean Sea.

The HRV imagery from Meteosat-10, see Figure 1 (top right) and the animated sequence from 17 July 05:00–15:00 UTC (MP4, 6 MB), shows an intriguing wavy smoke pattern during the first part of the day. The waves were probably due to some wind shear at the top of the maritime boundary layer.

Around midday other fires rapidly developed close to Athens. Their smoke plume joined the pre-existing one later in the day (Suomi-NPP, Natural Colour RGB, 11:10 UTC)

Figure 2: SNPP VIIRS, 17 July 2015, 11:10 UTC
Natural Colour RGB, 375m spatial resolution, zoomed in over Peloponnese
Figure 3: SNPP VIIRS, 17 July 2015, 11:10 UTC
Natural Colour RGB, 375m spatial resolution, zoomed in over Athens

The Natural Colour RGB from VIIRS on Suomi-NPP, taken after midday, shows more details. Figure 2 shows that the Peloponnese plume stemmed essentially from two separate streaks. Active fires can be identified by red pixels within a brown-coloured burnt area.

Figure 3 shows the Athens fires and their initial smoke streak. Again the fires show up as red pixels. No burnt area shows up.

In both RGBs the pixels have 375m spatial resolution.


See also:

Athens fire: Greek capital smothered in smoke as mountainside blaze threatens homes (The Independent)
Wildfires Rage Across Greece (The Atlantic)

Previous case studies

Wild fires threaten the city of Athens (23 Aug 2009)
Fires raging in Greece (25 Aug 2007)
Etesian winds seen in MSG High-Resolution Visible images (13 July 2007)

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