Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Australian Bushfire Maps

Many parts of Australia, in particular in New South Wales, are experiencing record levels of bushfires. One fire on its own in Coffs Harbour, NSW has a perimeter of 1000 kilometres. With no rainfall forecast and the promise of warm dry conditions for the coming week the extreme threat of fire in the state is expected to continue.

MyFireWatch is an interactive map providing information on the locations of the latest bushfires in Australia. The map uses data from remote sensing satellites and is updated every 2-4 hours, depending on the position of satellites. If you select a fire marker on the map you can read details on the time and date when the fire was last detected and its longitude and latitude.

The NSW Rural Fire Service also provides an interactive map of fires in New South Wales. The NSW Rural Fire Service map shows the locations of fires and the latest known fire extents. The map uses markers which are colored to show the current alert level for the mapped fire. Red markers show the location of fires with an emergency warning alert level. Major fire updates are also listed under the map.

The animated GIF at the top of the page uses images from the Himawari-8 satellite. You can explore satellite imagery of Australia yourself on the Himawari-8 Real-time Web viewer. The times on the GIF are I presume shown in my local time. Sydney is 11 hours ahead so these images are from yesterday afternoon in New South Wales.

If you want to create your own animated GIFs from satellite imagery then another good source of imagery is the RAMMB/CIRA Slider website. This tool allows you to create animated GIFs from satellite imagery from GOES-16 and Himawari-8. The slider uses the latest available imagery from both satellites to allow you to create small animated movies of the Earth.

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