Image credit: NOAA

A hot summer has provoked a record number of wildfires in southern Alaska, and weather satellites are following the development of its flames from space.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) geostationary satellites have clicked stunning images of the fires burning throughout south-central and southwestern Alaska since June. “Lightning strikes from thunderstorms are sparking these early-season wildfires, which are then feeding on dry vegetation from a mild winter, “according to a statement from NOAA.

“This year has been an unusually active fire season in the region, with abnormally warm and dry conditions that led to more than 300 wildfires igniting in recent weeks,” NOAA officials noted.

On June 30th, Thursday, 157 active fires were smoldering across Alaska. Within only one month, wildfires in the state have burned more than 1.6 million acres. That’s a limit Alaska has never surpassed this early in the fire season in decades.

NOAA satellites deliver significant insight into the wildfires and how they spread. Particularly, scientists utilize data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Joint Polar Satellite System’s NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP satellites to discover and track wildfires primarily in remote regions.

“The high spatial resolution from VIIRS allows the instrument to detect smaller and lower-temperature fires,” NOAA officials announced. “VIIRS also provides nighttime fire detection capabilities through its Day-Night Band, which can measure low-intensity visible light emitted by small and fledgling fires.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.


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