On Wednesday, NASA posted the above satellite shot indicating an outbreak of numerous wildfires along a Baltic Sea coastal lowland that is among a furthest western holdings of current day Russia.
The shot displayed a relatively significant outbreak of more than 20 hot spots in a temperate deciduous forest zone bordering the oxygen-starved Baltic Sea. NASA sensors pick up anomalous warm spots and link them to fires when smoke plumes are also present. For reference, the fire outbreak zone depicted above occurred in a region roughly 120 by 60 miles in size.
Temperatures in the region have ranged 3-5 C above normal — putting it around the freezing mark for most of the past week. The warmer than average weather hasn’t however, precluded snowfall, which has lent a thin covering to the area despite a relative dryness as storms have tended to track either north or south this year.
It is this dryness and a persistent wind off the Baltic which may have helped to ignite the recent outbreak of wildfires. NASA’s Rapid Response Team posted the shot, but they provide no details as to the cause of these wildfires. Winter fires are typically rare, but last year saw dry winds setting off blazes in Scandinavia, so this year may be showing an anomalous repeat.
This story will be monitored for further clarification as winter wildfires are an anomalous event that can often be linked to human-caused climate change.