GINA's Puffin Feeder Captures the First Winter Storm of 2015 in Barrow Alaska

Published about 1 month ago

GINA’s Puffin Feeder is a website designed to provide a near real-time data feeds.  One of those feeds is the UAF-GI Sea Ice Group’s webcam images and animations looking north over the Arctic Ocean coast of Barrow, AK.  Last week, on August 27th, the NWS issued the first 2015 Winter Storm Warning for Barrow. The storm that ensued resulted in coastal flooding as can be seen in photos taken by an NWS employee the morning of the 27th (see below).

Thanks to GINA System Analyst Greg Wirth who brought our attention to the fact that the Barrow webcam feed caught the entire storm and flooding event in 5 minute increments.  The storm swell can be witnessed in the animation as it breaches the seawall and floods coastal buildings and roads. But what is even more impressive in the animation is the skillful, prompt and efficient reaction of Emergency Services personnel in Barrow.  Teams of with heavy equipment can be seen rushing into action to repair several segments of broken seawall, all the while with the storm and sea raging around them.  The 24 hour animation as well as a descriptive series of still webcam photos are also posted below the NWS site photo.    

GINA’s Puffin Feeder is located at  If you visit today and check out the most recent webcam still photo, you can see that the seawall has been significantly reinforced since the 27th. Great Job!

Additional background information about Puffin Feeder can be found at

NWS photo of high water in Barrow, AK taken on the morning of 8/27/2015.

Barrow webcam still taken at 8:34pm on 8/26/2015 - the day before the storm.

Barrow webcam still taken at 7:09AM on 8/27/2015 showing initial storm-surge.

Barrow webcam still taken at 11:09AM on 8/27/2015 showing the flooded van that also visible in NWS photo above.

Barrow webcam still taken at 12:04PM on 8/27/2015 showing storm-surge inundation.

Barrow webcam still taken at 1:14PM on 8/27/2015 showing initial emergency response.

Barrow webcam still taken at 2:40PM on 8/27/2015 showing continued emergency response.

Barrow webcam still taken at 5:50PM on 8/27/2015 showing the seawall pretty well restored.

Barrow webcam still taken at 12:05PM on 8/31/2015 showing fully restored and built up seawall. 

Link: Full 8/27/2015 time-lapse animation on GINA’s Puffin Feeder

- Pete

Mapping international claims to the Arctic seabed (article at...

Published about 1 month ago

Mapping international claims to the Arctic seabed (article at


The Land of 10,000 Fires | Seeing the Light

Published 3 months ago The Land of 10,000 Fires | Seeing the Light:

Alaska wildfire from VIIRS–a nice post by our CIRA colleague, Curtis Seaman. 

The air quality in Fairbanks due to wildfire smoke has been quite poor lately.


Fire season is in full swing in Alaska.Above you can see a map...

Published 3 months ago

View from UAF west ridge campus into the smoke - July 7th, 2015

Fire season is in full swing in Alaska.

Above you can see a map of Alaska’s current fire situation showing the current 7 day satellite fire detections and yesterday’s SNPP VIIRS image of Alaska.  

The smoke you can see launching in the July 6th image have slammed into Fairbanks in an impressive way today in the second photo taken from a west ridge turn out on upper campus. You can barely see the UAF Museum in the center of the image and can’t see the traffic circle at the bottom hill.  

The last image is a screen cap from the State of Alaska’s DEC Division of Air Quality sensor for Fairbanks showing an extreme spike in particulate matter (smoke)  which is creating a very unhealthy environment for those of us with lungs.

You can see the latest satellite imagery from GINA on our Feeder website at: 

The SNPP image is available at:

The 7 day fire detections are from GINA via our partners at the USDA Fire Service.  You can grab the  MODIS and VIIRS 7 day fire detections and GIS shapefiles from the following locations:

You can check out latest air quality for Station 17 (fairbanks) at DEC’s website:


GOES Super Rapid Scan video of severe thunderstorm from our...

Published 5 months ago

GOES Super Rapid Scan video of severe thunderstorm from our colleagues at CIMSS. This is a great illustration of the benefits of 1-minute SSRO imaging. More of this to come when GOES-R launches in March 2016.

GOES-15 (GOES-West), GOES-14 and GOES-13 (GOES-East) visible images showing the development of a severe thunderstorm which produced multiple tornadoes, and hail up to 3 inches in diameter over west Texas on May 19, 2015. GOES-15 and GOES-13 were in standard scanning mode (images generally every 15 minutes), while GOES-14 was in 1-minute Super Rapid Scan Operations for GOES-R (SRSO-R) mode. Toward the end of the animation, note the merger with the smaller northward-moving storm.

Tom Duncan of the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) just...

Published 5 months ago

Tom Duncan of the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) just pointed out to GINA the most recent update to Google Earth for Fairbanks now includes 3d buildings.  

Grab Tom’s 3d tour of downtown Fairbanks.  Don’t forget to check the 3D buildings in the Layers menu to get the full effect.

Tom’s announcement:

A few days ago an update of Google Earth was released that includes a 3D view that covers much of the Fairbanks area, including west to the base of Chena Ridge, north to intersection of Ballaine and Goldstream, east to the intersection of Steese and Chena Hot Springs Road, and south to the south side of the Tanana River.  Sorry North Pole, not covered yet.

The navigable 3D view gives a stunning new perspective for an online map, and has many exciting potential applications.  The measuring tool has also been enhanced to use the new layer to measure building heights.  I created a tour using the GoogleEarth tools to give you an idea what it can do.  I am still learning how to create a tour in Google Earth, so please forgive the occasional jumpiness.

You will need to have Google Earth installed on your machine.  Then double-click on the attached kmz file to view the tour.  Enjoy!