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Fires and Smoke Engulf Southeastern Australia

Fires and Smoke Engulf Southeastern Australia

Forecasters predicted extreme fire conditions in southeastern Australia for the weekend of January 4–5, 2020, and they were correct in their assessment. The natural-color image above was acquired on January 4, 2020, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Smoke has a tan color, while clouds are bright white. It is likely that some of the white patches above the smoke are pyrocumulonimbus clouds—clouds created by the convection and heat rising from a fire.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Text by Michael Carlowicz.