Meteorological Satellite Coverage of Florida Everglades Fires

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  • 1 Detachment 11, 2nd Weather Squadron, Air Weather Service, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. 32925
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Abstract

Several bog fires in the Florida. Everglades in the spring of 1974 created a great deal of acrid smoke which was advected northward and reduced visibilities at many locations, including Patrick AFB. A subsidence inversion and low-level southwesterly flow combined on 1 May to send a plume of smoke into central Florida which reduced visibilities to 2 mi or less in areas south of Cape Canaveral. The 1430 GMT NOAA 3 satellite photo revealed the existence of the plume to the Cape Canaveral Forecast Facility (CCFF) forecasters. Later, satellite imagery taken between 1340 and 2110 GMT was received which showed movement of the plume offshore. These photographs gave evidence that timely use of meteorological satellite data can greatly aid in the forecasting of reduced visibilities due to smoke. In addition, high-resolution infrared and visual imagery from Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and NOAA satellites gave strong evidence that these data can be used to pinpoint and monitor brush and forest fires as well as provide local meteorological data vital to the fire fighting effort.

Abstract

Several bog fires in the Florida. Everglades in the spring of 1974 created a great deal of acrid smoke which was advected northward and reduced visibilities at many locations, including Patrick AFB. A subsidence inversion and low-level southwesterly flow combined on 1 May to send a plume of smoke into central Florida which reduced visibilities to 2 mi or less in areas south of Cape Canaveral. The 1430 GMT NOAA 3 satellite photo revealed the existence of the plume to the Cape Canaveral Forecast Facility (CCFF) forecasters. Later, satellite imagery taken between 1340 and 2110 GMT was received which showed movement of the plume offshore. These photographs gave evidence that timely use of meteorological satellite data can greatly aid in the forecasting of reduced visibilities due to smoke. In addition, high-resolution infrared and visual imagery from Defense Meteorological Satellite Program and NOAA satellites gave strong evidence that these data can be used to pinpoint and monitor brush and forest fires as well as provide local meteorological data vital to the fire fighting effort.

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