Drought conditions set the stage for an intense fire season in California in 2021
NASA’s Earth Information System (EIS) analysis captures the onset of drought and heightened fire conditions in mid-August 2021, with seasonal deficits of rainfall, exceptionally dry soils, onset of acute vegetation stress, and reduced plant growth.
The 2021 wildfire season in California started amid an ongoing drought and historically low rainfall and reservoir levels. By August, seasonal deficits of rainfall result in anomalously dry soils in large parts of the Western US. Eventually, the vegetation dries out as the roots can’t provide moisture to meet atmospheric demand. This vegetation stress is captured by thermal imaging satellites and by the model as reduced plant growth.
Still showing the 4 data sets side-by-side including: precipitation anomaly, root zone soil moisture, evaporative stress index, and gross primary productivity
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
- Kim Locke (SAIC)
Datasets used in this visualization
GTOPO30 Topography and BathymetryID: 274Data Compilation USGS
GPM Rainfall anomaly for Aug 2021ID: 1165Data Compilation
Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) V06 Precipitation downscaled to 1 km within LIS modelSee all pages that use this dataset
Rootzone Soil moisture Anomaly August 14, 2021ID: 1166Data Compilation
Anomaly in Rootzone soil moisture based on 20-year record from 1-km LIS-model run, after assimilation of downscaled SMAP surface moisture product (THySM: Thermal Hydraulic disaggregation of SMAP Soil Moisture).See all pages that use this dataset
Evaporative Stress Index (12-weeks) on August 13, 2021ID: 1167Observed Data
Atmosphere-Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) generated by the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT), based on MODIS-based thermal infrared observations
Credit: Anderson, Martha C., John M. Norman, John R. Mecikalski, Jason A. Otkin, and William P. Kustas. "A climatological study of evapotranspiration and moisture stress across the continental United States based on thermal remote sensing: 2. Surface moisture climatology." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 112, no. D11 (2007).See all pages that use this dataset
Anomaly in Gross Primary Production, August 2021ID: 1168Model
Anomaly in Gross Primary Production based on 20-year record from LIS-model runSee all pages that use this dataset
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.