Plumes of smoke from more than a dozen large, active wildfires burning northwest of Russia’s Lake Baikal are seen in this NOAA-20 imagery from July 4, 2019. Smoke from the fires is forecast to reach the European Arctic and Svalbard over the next few days, according to a tweet from Mark Parrington, a senior scientist with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
Wildfire season in eastern Russia and Siberia usually begins in April, and this year the spring warmth certainly created prime conditions for fire weather across the region. In early May, the Russian News Agency reported, “The fire season has begun in 77 Russian regions. A state of emergency has been declared in six regions, namely the Kurgan, Trans-Baikal, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Tuva regions, as well as in certain districts of the Chelyabinsk region …”
The NOAA-20 satellite's VIIRS sensor provides global coverage twice a day with 750 m resolution across its entire scan. Its daily multi-band imaging capabilities support the acquisition of high-resolution atmospheric imagery, including visible and infrared imaging of hurricanes, atmospheric aerosols and, as shown here, detection of fires and smoke.