A large brush fire developed and spread quickly during the afternoon of 11 July 2019 on the Hawaiian island of Maui, and continued to spread through the evening. By 05Z, the fire was reported to have burned 3,000 acres. The wildfire was captured by GOES-West, which includes the Hawaiian islands in the southwest corner of its 5-min CONUS sector.
The fire first becomes apparent in the 3.9 um shortwave IR imagery over the west-central portion of the island at 2051 UTC, and quickly heats to a brightness temperature of 127C in its hottest pixel (Figure 1). Compare this to a temperature of 41C over the same pixel just prior to wildfire initiation. The fire quickly expands and spreads to the southeast during the afternoon. The fire slows its movement and cools slightly during the evening.
Photos on social media showed a large smoke plume associated with this wildfire, which was also captured by GOES-West 0.64 um visible imagery (Figure 2). The smoke was observed pooling in the lower elevations within the center part of the island, while also being advected to the southwest in the mid levels. An intense updraft is apparent within the smoke field over the fire between 0221 UTC and 0331 UTC.
The natural true color RGB imagery available in AWIPS provides an image similar to what one would see from outer space. In lieu of a green band on ABI, the green component in this RGB is approximated by combining the 0.47 um, 0.64 um, and 0.86 um bands. Of course, the 0.47 um band is used for the blue component of the RGB, and 0.64 um for the red component. In this case, the brown smoke stands out against the white clouds, green land, and blue ocean.
Bill Line, NWS