68 Investigation of Favorable Atmospheric Conditions for PyroCb (Pyrocumulonimbus) Events using Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) Measurements and Retrieval Products

Monday, 15 August 2016
Grand Terrace (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Rebecca E Schultz, CIMSS, Madison, WI; and B. A. Baum and E. Weisz

Pyrocumulonimbus (PyroCb) clouds form over active fires and are denoted by intensely strong convection. In a PyroCb event, the plume reaches the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, injecting large amounts of smoke into these regions that are carried thousands of kilometers from the source region in a matter of days. The soot and other chemical constituents from these plumes have an undetermined impact on the weather and surfaces downstream from the event, and potentially on the climate. However, there is no standard set of metrics currently available to characterize the regions where PyroCbs may occur. This goal of study is to characterize the atmospheric conditions preluding these events to improve general understanding of the evolution and dynamical structure of PyroCb clouds. Through this research, we want to find atmospheric conditions that are conducive to severe wildfires and PyroCb clouds as well. The Cross-track Infrared Sounder on the Suomi-NPP Satellite is a high-spectral resolution sounding instrument that provides accurate vertical atmospheric and cloud information. We will discuss the potential use of CrIS radiance measurements and moisture retrievals to describe and assess atmospheric conditions prior to PyroCb events. Multiple case studies will be presented and discussed. We will demonstrate the potential for hyperspectral satellite sounder information in real-time environmental monitoring and forecasting applications.
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