July 25, 2017

Saharan Dust and Smoke

Fires in South British Colombia and Canada continue to produce light density smoke in Canada and across the border into Montana as seen in the HMS image below (top left). Fires on the border of Montana and Idaho have been producing light to moderately dense smoke in the area and smoke has been traveling east in to the northern Plain States region as remnant smoke from fires in Canada are still prevalent in the region. We see in the Nasa worldview image below (top right) that AOD concentrations maintained a moderately dense concentration in the northern Plain States region, however, we observed a lot of cloud coverage throughout the day that had blocked proper satellite imaging and measurements of the AOD concentrations. Low amounts of PM were observed in the southern Mississippi Valley and states like Texas and Florida (AirNow, bottom left). It is shown in the Copernicus image below (bottom right) that thin to dense amounts of Saharan Dust was seen crossing over the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Ozone levels maintained low to moderately dense concentrations mostly in California and it is believed that the hot summer days were a factor to the heightened levels (AirNow).

July 24, 2017

Moderate Ozone as Smoke Continues

Throughout the US today, AOD stayed relatively low with spots of low to moderately dense ozone in the Pacific Southwest region and parts of the Northern Plain States region (AirNow). It is believed that the fires that continue in Canada and the Northern Rockies have produced smoke that has traveled west (HMS, top left). The smoke is a possible factor to the elevated ozone in that region. The VIIRS Conus image below (top right) shows the AOD trajectory throughout the day and it shows that movement was low in the Pacific Southwest region and the Northern Mississippi Valley of the states. It is believed that this low movement corresponds to the low wind and possible stagnation of the air which can help in elevating ozone in those regions. Especially since temperatures reached above 100°F in some of these areas as recorded in the weather.gov climate chart below (bottom).

July 20, 2017

High Ozone comes form High Temperatures

Air quality today mostly stayed in the Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 today across the nation. However, these elevated levels of PM 2.5 were mostly only seen in the Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes region, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southeast, as seen in AirNow's PM 2.5 map, top left. The amount of PM 2.5 was not very much affected by the smoke seen in the Northern parts of the nation, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The smoke seems to be coming from ongoing wildfires in Canada and California, but it has not changed the amount of PM 2.5 in the US too much. For ozone, there were Code Yellow and Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) levels seen in most of the nation, mostly concentrated in the East coast, the West coast, and the Rocky Mountain States(AirNow, bottom left). There was also some Code Red (Unsafe) seen in California. These high levels of ozone were mostly due to high summer temperatures across the nation, as seen in NOAA's temperature map, bottom right.

July 18, 2017

Heavy fires and Elevated Ozone

For the previous week, fires in Canada and British Colombia have been producing mass amounts of smoke that has been spanning over much of the border of Canada and the States as seen in the EOSDIS image below (top left). Much of the smoke has been concentrated over multiple fires in Southern British Colombia right above Washington. Trajectories show much of that smoke will be moving east towards the Great Lakes region of the nation as seen in the VIIRS CONUS image below (top right). PM stayed high today across the nation, even over the southern portion of the Mississippi Valley and much of Texas and Florida due to Saharan Dust moving west as observed in the Copernicus image below (mid left). Ozone had reached high concentrations today too in the Pacific Southwest region and the Great Lakes region (AirNow, mid right). It is believed that with the rather high temperatures (weather.gov, bottom) and the mass amount of smoke and PM making its way through the Great lakes region, could have all been contributors to the elevated ozone in the region. Low winds and elevated temperatures in the Pacific Southwest may have been factors to the heightened concentrations of ozone in this region.

July 17, 2017

Canadian Fires and Elevated PM

With the ongoing fires right over the border in Canada, a multitude of fires produce light to dangerous amounts of smoke. Smoke was observed over much of Alaska, the Northern Plain States, and Rocky Mountain States regions as seen in the HMS graphic below (top left). Fires in California have produced a lot of smoke that is moving west as smoke from the north is moving southwest into the Great Lakes region (HMS, top right). AOD trajectories from VIIRS CONUS imaging shows low movement in the pacific southwest region while mass amounts of AOD with high concentrations of PM is making its way along the northern states of the nation that border Canada (middle left). In the real time satellite imaging provided by Terra (middle right), we see smoke moving over Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. In conjunction with all the smoke observed today, we saw Saharan dust making its way through central US with higher concentrations closer to the border of Mexico and the Pacific Southwest region of the states (Copernicus, bottom left). There were patches of elevated ozone observed throughout the day and it is believed that the high temperatures shown in the NOAA climate chart below (bottom right) with the mass amounts of smoke and Saharan dust, were all contributors to the areas of heightened ozone.

July 13, 2017

Low PM 2.5 in the nation

Air quality was mostly good today, with some Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 seen in the Mid-Atlantic and the Pacific Southwest (AirNow, top left). The rest of the nation more or less had low levels of PM 2.5. The elevated PM 2.5 seen in the Pacific Southwest was most likely due to smoke seen in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Ozone, however, was not as good today. There was a lot of Code Yellow and Code Orange(Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) in the Pacific Southwest and Northwest, and the Rocky Mountain States, along with some Code Red(Unsafe) in the Pacific Southwest (AirNow, bottom left). This ozone was most likely due to high pressure systems in these areas, as seen in NOAA's pressure map, bottom right.

July 11, 2017

Heavy Concentrations of PM Due to Wildfires

Today was a rough day in Air Quality news as fires ensue in the Pacific Northwest region of the states. As seen in the EOSDIS image below (top left), the densest smoke was seen over the region of Southern British Colombia and parts have traveled south right into the Pacific Northwest region of the nation. Smoke spanned from Alaska to the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the states as seen in the HMS image below (top right). However, smoke was not nearly as dense as seen closer to the west coast and the border to Canada. Through the VIIRS CONUS AOD trajectory we can see the AOD, like our infamous smoke, traveling east as wind patterns circulate east from the Plain States and onwards. Winds west of the Plain States stayed relatively low and stagnant, which is believed to have contributed to a slight elevation of ozone in the area (bottom left). In the Terra satellite imaging below (bottom right) we can see smoke from Southern British Colombia moving south across the border and a small smoke plume seen from fires within the state of Oregon as the Oregon Department of Forestry has highlighted the beginning of the fire season in the state.