May 25, 2017

Little to not PM 2.5 today

There was not much PM 2.5 seen today, as there were only very small amounts of PM 2.5 across the country (AirNow, top left). However, some Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 in the southern Plains States were caused by smoke coming from Central America. The smoke's coverage can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right.

May 23, 2017

Fires in the South West, Florida, and Central America

There are a few large wildfires in western New Mexico, and central Arizona. These fires are producing light to modernly dense smoke that seems to be traveling south east (NOAA HMS image, top left). Also in this image we can see a relatively small plume of smoke in southeastern Florida. This smoke is also light to moderate in density and is coming from wildfires near the Fort Lauderdale area, and seems to be traveling mostly north east. The large mass of mostly light density smoke over Mexico, and the western half of the Gulf of Mexico is also covering a large part of Central America and is being produced by seasonal fires in Central America. The image on the top right is an MPL image from a Lidar system Key Biscane, FL, which shows some aerosols aloft around 2km of altitude. These are likely light plumes of smoke from the nearby fires that lingered in the area and traveled just south enough to be detected by the MPL. In spite of all the smoke, the air quality was not very affected by PM2.5 or PM10, however, elevated ozone leves in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, in the Rockies, and the Great Lakes Region, did affect the air quality for these areas. The Great Lakes Region and the Rockies mostly saw moderate, code yellow, air quality, but the Pacific Northwest and Southwest were affected by unhealthy, code orange and red, levels of air quality as well (AirNow image, bottom left). These high levels of ozone were likely due to high temperatures and local pollution.

May 18, 2017

Sulfate spreads over East Coast

There was mostly Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 seen in the nation today, with COde Yellow levels seen in the Southern Plains States, the Mississippi Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southeast (AirNow, top left). This elevated PM 2.5 was somewhat caused by smoke seen in the Plains States (NOAA, top right), while in the East, it was mostly caused by the coverage of sulfate (NOAA, bottom left). Some of the smoke in the south could be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom right despite heavy cloud coverage.

May 16, 2017

Elevated Ozone, and Smoke in South

A large plume of remnant smoke from the seasonal burns in Central America has traveled north into the southern portion of Texas. This large plume is also covering a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico, and some it is making its way to Florida as well (HMS image, top left). The smoke for the wildfire down in the Florida-Georgia Border seems to have ceased temporarily in spite of the fire being only 23% contained up to now, but a large plume of remnant smoke is traveling north over the ocean along the east coast. There are, however, a few more small firer which are generating small plumes of smoke, all seemingly traveling north and north east. Ozone levels for a large chunk of the nation were elevated today reaching moderate, code yellow, levels. The AirNow Ozone AQI image, top right, shows us the extensive coverage of ozone affecting the air quality in this whole are. The ozone was likely due to elevated temperatures, low winds, and possibly some local pollution. Particulate matter did not play a large role in poor air quality today. There are a few areas where PM 2.5 seems to have affected air quality, but that is likely due to remnant smoke aloft, and local pollution. Southern Texas, in spite of the aforementioned smoke plume, did not experience poor air quality (AirNow PM image, bottom left).

May 15, 2017

Remnant Smoke, Ozone and Dust

Observed today was majority light levels of air quality throughout the nation. Ozone, remnant smoke and dust were all contributors to the light to moderate levels of air quality throughout the day. Ozone, as seen in the AirNow image below (top left) was more widespread and covered many of the states and it is believed that a combination of high temperatures, remnant smoke and dust contributed to the pollution that caused Ozone. Fires were seen in the Great Lakes region and some smoke was originated to what is believed to be wildfires in Canada and made its way over Lake Michigan and northern Illinois. Smoke was again seen moving across the Gulf of Mexico and made its way into the Southern States like Florida. Remnant smoke was observed over this area from the West Mims wildfire seen early last week (HMS, top right). In the Copernicus image below (bottom), dust was seen moving across Arizona.

May 12, 2017

Large Swaths of Smoke over Eastern US

NOAA's HMS Smoke Product shows smoke along the plains states and the great lakes region (top left). This smoke is thin in density and NOAA's HMS Analysis Team reports that it comes from fires over southern Canada and the Northern Plains States, which can be seen in clusters in the image. The second NOAA Smoke image (top right) shows light smoke extending across the Atlantic Ocean and traveling northeast across Bermuda. The smoke's origin is the wildfire over southern Georgia and other fire activity along the southeastern states from the previous few days.
NASA's AOD image (bottom left) shows relatively low concentrations of aerosols (oranges) across the nation. This includes areas that coincide with the smoke along the Plains States and the location of the fire in Georgia, but there are also areas in California and the Rocky Mountains states. The AirNow Ozone AQI (bottom right) shows overall ozone levels to be fairly moderate (yellow) in areas spotted across the pacific southwest, southern plains states, Illinois, Mississippi, and Florida. An area of unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) is seen in Baja California, which can be explained by the higher temperatures here.

May 11, 2017

Smoke from Central American travels to Plains States

Air quality was mostly good today, with a good amount of Code Yellow (Moderate) being seen in the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, the Southern Plains States, and the Mid-Atlantic (AirNow, top left). PM 2.5 levels did not go above Code Yellow levels. PM 2.5 seen in the Plains States was partially from smoke the travelled from Central America. The smoke's presence can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Some of the smoke also travelled towards the Southeast, and images of the smoke in this area were captured by NASA's MODIS Terra satellite, bottom left.