Unusual Cloud Streaks from Oil Flares

Interesting cloud formation on the Alaska’s North Slope 08 Feb 2022. This streaking appearance of clouds is often caused by a moist layer and mechanical lift generated by terrain, but this is pretty flat territory. The point source of the streaks doesn’t change, as you can see in this sequence of images, but in this case, rather than mechanical lift the clouds are caused by heat from gas flares from oil platforms in the area.
This is a DayNightBand (DNB) image from the following night. The DNB is extremely sensitive to visible light at night, so here it’s detecting light from the gas flares as well as industrial lighting in the area. You can see that many of the lights in the DNB line up with the point source of the cloud streaks in the DayLandCloud animation above.
In this zoomed-in view of the VIIRS i04 (3.74 um) band you can see the thermal signature of these cloud plumes emanating from a warm point source. the cyan and purple colors are from the very cold surrounding environment with the gray shades defining the warmer temperatures of the cloud plumes. The dark greay spots at the beginning of each streak locates the heat sources, which in this case are the gas flares.
Here’s the VIIRS i04 (3.74 um from this morning (11 Feb 2022) showing some of the same heat source points, but the wind and low level moisture conditions have changes so the cloud streaks are gone.

Additional imagery and descriptions about this event can be found in this CIMSS Satellite blog by Scott Bachmeier