The behaviour of remotely sensed land surface temperatures (LSTs) from the spinning-enhanced visible and infrared imager (SEVIRI) during the total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 is analysed over Europe. LST is found to drop by up to several degrees Celcius during the eclipse, with the minimum LST occurring just after the eclipse mid-point (median=+1.5 min). The drop in LST is typically larger than the drop in near-surface air temperatures reported elsewhere, and correlates with solar obscuration (r=−0.47; larger obscuration = larger LST drop), eclipse duration (r=−0.62; longer duration = larger LST drop) and time (r=+0.37; earlier eclipse = larger LST drop). Locally, the LST drop is also correlated with vegetation (up to r=+0.6), with smaller LST drops occurring over more vegetated surfaces. The LSTs at locations near the coast and at higher elevation are also less affected by the eclipse. This study covers the largest area and uses the most observations of eclipse-induced surface temperature drops to date, and is the first full characterization of satellite LST during an eclipse (known to the author). The methods described could be applied to Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) LST data over North America during the August 2017 total solar eclipse.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse’.
One contribution of 16 to a theme issue ‘Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse’.
- Accepted January 29, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.