November 9, 2017

Low levels of ozone begin as winter is coming

Air quality was mostly good today, with only some Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 seen in the Rocky Mountain States, the Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic, as seen in AirNow's PM 2.5 map, top left. There were also small amounts of Code Yellow seen in the mid Plains States and California. There was some smoke seen in the Rocky Mountain States, but it does not seem to have had a large impact on the air quality in this area (NOAA, top right). There was also little to no ozone seen in the nation, which was most likely due to the low temperatures coming with the winter season.

November 6, 2017

Low PM and Dust

Today was a good day in Air Quality News. We observed very minimal amounts of PM throughout the day with no significant amounts of smoke plumes observed. However, fires in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast region of the nation may have contributed to the slight elevation of PM in their respective regions, as seen in the AirNow image below (left). Dust was seen earlier today over southwest Nevada moving east towards Mid-Atlantic states (Copernicus, right).

November 2, 2017

Low levels of ozone and PM 2.5 across th nation

Air quality today was very good, with only Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 being seen in the Southern Plains States, the Rocky Mountain States, and the Pacific Southwest, with some Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) being seen in California (AirNow, top left). This low spread of PM 2.5 was somewhat due to low levels of smoke being seen across the nation, as seen in HMS' smoke map, top right. Ozone levels were also very good, with only small amount of Code Yellow being seen in the Pacific Southwest and the Rocky Mountain States (weather.gov, bottom left).

October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Fires in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast region of the nation continue as PM maintains low concentrations in their respective regions as seen in the AirNow image below (top left). A majority of fires were relatively small and produced very little amounts of smoke, however, fires in Florida produced thin density smoke plumes that are traveling west throughout Florida (HMS, top right). Cloud coverage over British Columbia, Idaho and Montana blocked PM observations where smoke should be present. Fires in Northern California and Western Oregon produced thin to moderately dense smoke plumes traveling southwest into the Pacific Ocean. VIIRS Conus trajectory (bottom) shows low to moderately dense PM traveling Northeast towards the Great Lakes region.

October 30, 2017

PM in the Pacific Northwest and Mississippi Valley

Today was a nice clear day in Air Quality news. Low concentrations of PM were observed in the Pacific Northwest, much of the Mississippi Valley and Southeast regions of the nation as seen in the EOSDIS image below (top left). However, because of heavy cloud coverage, satellites were unable to record observations for much of the central portions of the nation, including the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In the HMS image below (top right), we see a number of fires in Louisiana and Arkansas that are producing smoke plumes as winds are carrying them up and towards the Northeast. Fires in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest are producing thin density smoke plumes traveling west into the Pacific Ocean as Terra satellite imaging shows down below (bottom).

October 29, 2017

wildfire season ends

The end of wildfire season brings reduced particulate matter levels than in the previous months. The AirNow image in the top left shows PM AQI throughout the day. It maintains mostly moderate levels, with levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) in California and Nevada, with both these areas very briefly reaching unhealthy levels (red). The HMS image (top right) shows very little fire activity on Sunday, just some small areas of light smoke in California, Arizona, and at the border of Texas and Louisiana. The colder weather is not only slowing down wildfire activity, the AirNow ozone AQI image at the bottom shows that surface ozone has also seen a decline since the past months, reaching levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) in California.

October 26, 2017

PM 2.5 and ozone levels rise along west coast

Air quality today stayed around mostly Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5, mostly appearing in the Pacific Southwest and the Plains States (Airnow, top left). There was also some Code Orange and Code Red (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups and Unsafe, respectively) seen on the US southern border. This elevated PM 2.5 was most likely due to smoke spread in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right.
Ozone levels were also somewhat high today, with up to Code Red levels being seen in California, along the West coast, and along the US southern border (NOAA, bottom left). These heightened levels of ozone were most likely due to high temperatures in this area, as shown in weather.org's temperature map, bottom right. Temperatures got up to the nineties and even the hundreds in this region.