January 3, 2019

Moderate PM 2.5 along West Coast

Air quality today was mostly good, with only some Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 being seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountain States, and the Rocky Mountain States, as seen in AirNow's PM 2.5 map, top left. This PM 2.5 may have been partially due to smoke coming from Central America, which then travelled North towards the West coast (NOAA, top right). Light plumes of this smoke can be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. The increase in fires being burned in people's homes during the winter months may have also increased the amount of smoke seen.

October 10, 2018

Hurricane Michael makes landfall

The air quality was decent today. There were a few small areas in the West with Code Yellow (Moderate) particulate matter levels and ozone (AirNow and NWS, top left and right, respectively).
There was not any smoke reported today except for small light density plumes in California (HMS, middle left).
Hurricane Michael made landfall today in the southeast (MODIS, middle right) increased to a Category 4 throughout most of the day then decreased gradually to a Category 1 by 8pm EST over Gulf Coast (AccuWeather, bottom left). We can see that much of the East coast has flash flood, coastal flooding, storm surge, and tropical storm warnings (NWS, bottom right) as the system moves northward.

October 4, 2018

Low levels of PM 2.5 and Ozone

Air quality today was mostly good, with only some Code Yellow (Moderate) PM 2.5 being seen in the Mississippi Valley, the Mid-Atlantic, and California (AirNow, top left). The small amount of PM 2.5 seen in the Mississippi Valley was due to wildfires in this area. This smoke can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The PM 2.5 in California may have also been partially due to smoke from wildfires in the northern part of the west coast. Ozone levels, on the other hand, were a bit lower, with only very small amounts of Code Yellow seen in the southern Plains States and the Mississippi Valley.

October 3, 2018

Air quality affected my prescribed burns in Mississippi Valley

Air quality and ozone were good today with the exception of a few Code Yellow (Moderate) spots in the Mississippi Valley due to light smoke being channeled by the clockwise circulation of a high pressure system centered around Tennessee (AirNow, top left and top right respectively).

There were numerous small,short-lived prescribed burns (NAAPS) observed during the afternoon across much of the southeast and the Mississippi Valley, extending westward (HMS, bottom left).

September 29, 2018

Smoke over Oregon

According to NOAA's Hazard Fire and Smoke Product, top left image, the Klondike fire in southwest Oregon produced smoke moving across southern Idaho and into Wyoming. Several prescribed fires in northern Idaho were emitting light density smoke moving to the east, while the Prospect fire in central Idaho had a heavy-density smoke plume extending across southwest Montana. Additional wildfires in northern California were producing heavy-density smoke plumes moving towards the north and into Oregon (top right image). Cloud coverage hindered the AOD retrieval. The bottom left image shows AOD, associated with the smoke plume, to range between 0.2 to 0.6.

September 28, 2018

Fires in Arizona Continue to Burn with Smoke Plume Extending to New Mexico

Fires in Arizona continue to burn producing a moderate sized thin density smoke plume traveling east into New Mexico, as reported by NOAA's Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product. Smoke can be seen from three fires in Arizona in today's NASA Aqua MODIS true color (RGB) image (top left image). The smoke was captured also in VIIRS AOD retrievals with the smoke associated with fires yielding values between 0.2 to 1 in Arizona, while the smoke plume over New Mexico is in the range of 0.2 to 0.6 (top right image, courtesy of NOAA IDEA.)

AERONET sun photometer retrievals from at USGS Flagstaff show coarse smoke particles (aerodynamic diameter greater than 2.5 microns) intensifying as the day progressed (bottom left image). The corresponding single scattering albedo timeseries show scattering rather than absorbing increasing as well. The line slope increases with time indicating than scattering instead is absorption dominating in the retrieval.

September 27, 2018

Low levels of PM 2.5 and Ozone as Summer months end

Air quality today was mostly good, with small amounts of Code Yellow (Moderate) PM 2.5 being seen in the Great Lakes Region, the Rocky Mountain States, and along the West Coast (Airnow, top left). This increase of PM 2.5 was partially due to smoke in these regions from wildfires. The spread of this smoke can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Light plumes of this smoke, specifically smoke from California and Oregon, was captured in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Ozone levels were also very low, with some Code Yellow levels being seen in California, the Rocky Mountain States, and the Mississippi Valley (AirNow, bottom right).