Powerful downslope winds fueled wildfires • Earth.com

Powerful downslope winds fueled wildfires

Powerful downslope winds fueled wildfires in three states. Powerful downslope winds fueled wildfires in three states. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows thick smoke plumes streaming across the western United States from dozens of fires.

The same weather system that brought unseasonably cold air to the Rocky Mountains also sent powerful winds barreling down the slopes of mountain ranges in several different states. 

The intense downslope winds, also known as foehn winds, fueled a long line of fires in Washington, Oregon, and California. Powerful downslope causes a lot of wind to go through.

The image was captured on September 8, 2020 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. 

Short bursts of high speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, and hurricane. California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States of America. With over 39.3 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area, and is also the world’s thirty-fourth most populous subnational entity. California is also the most populated subnational entity in North America, and has its state capital in Sacramento.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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