Extreme events monitoring

Heat Waves

Heat waves are natural hazards that cause deaths and financial loss due to crop deficit and forest fires. LST maps can help monitor such events and assess the spatial extent of the affected areas.

2003 Heat Wave - Western Europe

Figure 38 shows the heatwave that hit Europe in July 2003. The image corresponds to LST anomaly computed in July 2003 compared to July 2001, as observed by MODIS on NASA's Terra satellite.

Fig. 39: 2003 heat wave temperature variations in Europe relative to July 2001. This image shows the differences in day time land surface temperatures collected by MODIS on NASA's Terra satellite. "Compared to July 2001, temperatures in July 2003 were sizzling."


2007 Heat Wave - Eastern Europe

The 2007 European heat wave affected most of southern Europe and the Balkans as well as Turkey. During July, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, the Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia were the most affected countries. There were widespread fires in the region as a result of the phenomenon.

Fig. 40: On July 2007 a heat wave hit central Europe affecting especially Italy, Bulgaria and Romania.

2010 Heat wave - Central, Eastern and Southwestern Europe

Fig. 41: LST anomalies as depicted by MODIS onboard the Terra satellite from 4 through 11 July 2010, compared to temperatures for the same dates from 2000 to 2008. Oceans, lakes, and areas with insufficient data (usually because of persistent clouds) appear in gray.



Fig. 42 shows the LSA SAF LST product is consistent with MODIS while detecting this temperature anomaly.

Fig. 42: LSA SAF LST product anomaly from 4 through 11 July 2010: positive values are observed in northern Portugal and central Europe. A positive anomaly is also observed over countries around the Caspian Sea.

2013 Heat Wave in UK and Ireland

Fig. 43: LST anomaly as depicted by the LSA SAF LST product from 1 through 23 July 2013 over the UK and Ireland, compared to July averages between 2009-2012.

The 2013 heat wave in the United Kingdom and Ireland was a period of unusually hot weather primarily in July 2013. A prolonged high pressure system over Britain and Ireland caused higher than average temperatures for 19 consecutive days in July, reaching 33.5°C at Heathrow and Northolt (Wikipedia).

Cold periods

The East Coast of the USA has been experiencing cold periods from 2012 to 2015. February 2015 saw particularly low temperatures. This pattern is well documented by the Land Surface Temperature (LST) Product as shown in the maps of its median over each dekad or ten-day period of February. The most extreme LST values are observed during the 2nd dekad of February 2015.

Fig. 44: LSA SAF Surface Temperature (LST) median values over each dekad of February 2012 to 2015. The most extreme LST values were recorded during the 2nd dekad of February 2015.