07 October 2009

Top End NT

The image (click to enlarge) is a spectacular view of the Top End region of the NT captured today around 1410 LT, the early afternoon overpass of the Aqua satellite. Multiple large wildfires are readily apparent, with several large plumes of smoke moving off towards the west. A lower resolution full image is here. Darwin is located at the 'D'.

Most of these hotspots and fires represent activity which was first noted yesterday. The fires flared again today, as hot, dry air persisted over much of the area; RH values were down to 2-3% for an extended portion of the afternoon at Katherine (the K). Afternoon temperatures were in the mid-30s with moderate easterly winds.

The largest of fires in the vicinity of Katherine have burnt roughly 50 000 to 60 000 ha. The particular smoky one about halfway between Darwin and Katherine just got organized today.

Several large fires are also evident in Arnhem Land. The fire in central portions of the region is producing a lot of smoke. As further west, many of these fires have been burning for several days, part of the seasonal peak in activity.

Off the image, fires continue in the NT Gulf country (actually, some of these are just visible in the SE corner...). The fire further south, near Wave Hill, also continues to burn today. Finally, a large wildfire in also noted in the Kimberley region of WA.

Fire weather warnings are in effect for most of these regions for tomorrow (8 Oct) as dry gusty conditions are expected to persist.

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