View Himawari-8 images in near-real-time.

The new Himawari-8 geostationary weather satellite was commissioned in 2015 by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The Advanced Himawari Imager on board is the first of a new generation of sensors to be commissioned. It is providing amazing views of significant weather events in Australia. The data provided promise to significantly improve Australia's emergency response to extreme weather-based events.
This archive has therefore been set-up to allow us to learn how to get best value from H-8.

Data: Japan Meteorological Agency.
Imagery: Space Science Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin Madison.
Coordination: UNSW Canberra.
System development: Rick McRae, ACT Emergency Services Agency.
Web hosting: HighFire Risk Project (ACT ESA).
Post processing: Myles McRae, Progress Bar IT Training and Support


2.2m Near Infra-red
3.9m Fire
Low level water vapour
Thermal Infra-red
18 March, 2018. An afternoon of raised FDR, with isentropic drawdown (foehn effect) following a tight trough line. A hazard reduction burn in the southern tip of the ACT escapes containment, and a wildfire breaks out downwind on the Monaro.

2.2m Near Infra-red
3.9m Fire
Low level water vapour
18 March, 2018. On the same afternoon, a wildfire burnt into the coastal town of Tathra. A lot of the imagery has cloud in the way. Base map: Geoscience Australia.


4th July, 2017. A set of "Morning Glory" roll clouds are reported in the media as passing over Moree. The band evolves as it moves towards Brisbane. Note the decay of the valley fog in the eastern fall of the Great Divide. It is possible that these events and related undular bores might provide enough additional instability to cause fire blow-up events.

Red only
Low-level WV
Some zoomed-out sequences: RGB
Low-level WV
Mid-level WV
High-level WV

12th February, 2017. On a day of elevated fire danger, the Sir Ivan Fire escalates and then develops a blow-up fire event which forms a pulsed pyroCb. The blow-up happened as the air pressure reached its minimum on the troughline, which is seen travelling from SW to NE. Ahead of it there are widespread Cu clouds, while the sky is clear behind. The pyroCb forms on that edge. The water vapour imagery shows a persistent "bow wave" formed by the fire's plume acting against ambient air flow. It forms much earlier than the blow-up. The blow-up event was predicted, and this is the first operationally predicted pyroCb.
To the south is the White Cedars Fire, and other large fires are towards the right of the images.

15th May, 2016. A persistent west-east high pressure ridge created a zonal wind flow. In passing over the Great Divide, this caused a pronounced foehn effect and a series of gravity waves. The low-level water vapour imagery showed these clearly.

18th Nov 2015: An animation of the progression of smoke from the previous Esperance Fires (17 Nov) across southeast Australia. This uses the green band only, as this gave the best contrast for the smoke. The smoke lies between low-level strato-cumulus and capping fracto-cumulus. Note the time of travel between Melbourne and Canberra and the shadows in the last frame, just before sunset. Click here for an aerological diagram for that.
20151125: 3.9 and red
00 UTC to 01 UTC
01 UTC to 02 UTC
02 UTC to 03 UTC
03 UTC to 04 UTC
04 UTC to 05 UTC
05 UTC to 06 UTC
06 UTC to 07 UTC
A basemap [SSEC]
25th Nov 2015: Multiple band views of the catastrophic Pinery Fire north of Adelaide, SA.
We can see a fire running fast ahead of a cold front, then tuning left inland.
Note that cloud sporadically blocks the IR signal coming from the surface.
These images have been fast tracked, and are animated GIFs only.

RGB visible composite
B08 - NIR (2.3 micron) [thanks to Dan Lindsey for this use]
B09 - Fire (3.9 micron)
B09 - High level WV
B10 - Low level WV
B16 - Thermal IR
All of the above
17th Nov 2015: Multiple band vuews of the catastrophic fires near Esperance, WA.
We can see a fire running 100km, a cold front hitting the fires, multiple gravity waves, offshore lateral smoke transport and more.

RGB visible composite
B08 - Upper WV
B09 - Mid WV
B10 - Low WV
B13 - Thermal IR
9th Oct 2015: WV, Thermal IR and RGB composite of an orographically affected westerly flow forming late thunderstorms over the ACT.

7th Nov 2015: A merged animation of visible and upper-level water vapour showing a Cb forming next to a dry slot over the Wollombi Valley behind Newcastle.

1st Nov 2015: Low-level WV, Thermal IR and RGB composite of a vigorous trough over SE Australia, with a Cb anvil bigger than Tasmania.

7th Oct 2015: On a day with a number of fires in NE NSW, a complex cold front pushes up the coast with a large dry slot inland.
Ends with some imagery of the Lancefield (Vic) Fire on the 6th(Large MP4 file.)

9th Sep 2015: A demonstration of the resolving capability of H-8 of a fireground. This is a large HRB in Queensland.