Last update: September 17th, 2019 at 8:00 am
The extreme drought in Florida is taking its toll on the level of the state’s largest lake. As water levels in Lake Okeechobee drop, marshy areas along the shore are drying out and becoming flammable. This cloud-dotted image of the lake on May 30, 2007, was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Using not only visible light, but also shortwave and near-infrared, the image highlights burned areas (brick red) and areas where there was likely open flame (bright pink glows). Unburned vegetation is bright green, water is dark blue, and clouds are light blue and white. Smoke is translucent blue. Places where the MODIS detected active fire are outlined in red. (The absence of a fire-detection outline around some of the bright pink areas may be because clouds or smoke interfered with the automatic fire-detection process).
The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provide twice-daily images of this area in additional resolutions and formats (including photo-like images) via a clickable map.
Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center