August 9, 2018

West Coast experiences heavy smoke

Air quality today was not good, with Code Yellow (Moderate), Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups), Code Red (Unhealthy), and Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) levels were seen all along the West Coast (AirNow, top left). There was also Code Orange and Red seen in the Northern Plains States and the Rocky Mountain states. This increase in PM 2.5 was somewhat due to an increase in smoke in the western part of the region from multiple wildfires. The spread of the smoke, which has light and heavy plumes of smoke, could seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. One of these wildfires was the Mendocino Complex wildfire, which currently spans over 256,000 acres and counting. The wildfire's cause is currently unknown (InciWeb). Ozone levels, however, stayed around Code Yellow levels in the Rocky Mountain States, the Pacific Southwest, the Great Lakes region, and the Plains States. There was also a small amount of Code Red in California.



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August 2, 2018

Ozone levels rise with high summer temperatures

Air quality levels today were not good, as PM 2.5 levels reached Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) levels along the west coast (AirNow, top left). There were also a large amount of Code Red (Unsafe) and Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) levels of PM 2.5 seen in California, Oregon, and Nevada. There were also Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountain States, the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi Valley. This increase of PM 2.5 was somewhat due to smoke spread in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Ozone levels were more widespread, with ozone levels reaching Code Yellow levels in the Pacific Southwest, the Plains States, the Mississippi, the Great Lakes region, and the Rocky Mountain States. There was also some Code Orange in California, as seen in weather.gov's ozone map, bottom left. This rise in ozone was most likely due to increases in temperature, as these areas mostly had high temperatures of 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, as seen in weather.gov's temperature map, bottom right.

July 26, 2018

PM 2.5 and Ozone levels increase

PM 2.5 levels today ranged from Code Yellow (Moderate) to Code Red (Unsafe) levels. The PM 2.5 spanned from the West coast, the Plains States, the Mississippi Valley, and some of the East coast (AirNow, top left). The increased amount of PM 2.5 was mostly caused by smoke being spread from the western part of the nation. The smoke's coverage can be seen in NASA's HMS map, bottom left. NASA's MODIS Terra images were unable to take pictures of the smoke in this area. Ozone levels also reached Code Red levels in California today, and in the Northern part of Texas (weather.gov, bottom left). There were also widespread amounts of Code Yellow seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the Southern Plains States, and the Mississippi Valley.

July 12, 2018

Plains States smoke continues to spread

PM 2.5 levels were low today, but widespread, with Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of particulate matter being seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, the Great Lakes region, and the Plains States (AirNow, top left). However, there were also Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups), Code Red (Unsafe), and Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) levels in Oklahoma. The PM 2.5 spread along the East coast was most likely to the ongoing wildfires in the east and the mid-east. The spread of this smoke can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Light plumes of the smoke was also captured in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Lastly, ozone levels were also mostly in Code Yellow levels today, with ozone being seen in the mid-west and parts of the East Coast.

July 5, 2018

Ozone and PM 2.5 levels rise

PM 2.5 levels ranged from Code Yellow (Moderate) to Code Red (Unsafe) levels today, with these levels being spread around the Mid-Atlantic, the Mississippi Valley, the Plains States, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountain States, the Pacific Northwest, and the Pacific Southwest (AirNow, top left). This elevated PM 2.5 was at least somewhat due to smoke in the Northern parts of the nation, as shown in NOAA's HMS map, top right. This smoke was captured in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Ozone levels were also from Code Yellow to Code Red levels, mostly being seen in the Eastern part of the nation.

June 28, 2018

Smoke in Plains States slightly raises PM 2.5 levels

PM 2.5 levels today were relatively low, with small amounts of Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of particulate matter being seen in the Rocky Mountain States, the Pacific Southwest, and the Great Lakes Region (AirNow, top left). There was also some Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) seen in the Rocky Mountain States. There was a large amount of smoke in the Plains States, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Despite smoke density ranging from heavy to light plumes, the PM levels did not rise to unhealthy levels. One fire that contributed to the amount of smoke in this region was the Buzzard Fire in New Mexico (InciWeb). This wildfire was human-caused and currently spans over 50,000 acres and counting. The smoke plumes were capture in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Ozone levels, on the other hand, were more widespread, with Code Yellow and Code Orange levels being seen in the Plains States, the Pacific Southwest,and the Great Lakes region.

June 21, 2018

Plains States smoke spreads towards West

PM 2.5 levels were mostly low today, with Code Yellow (Moderate) levels being seen in the Southeast, the Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains States, and California (AirNow, top left). The elevated PM 2.5 in the Pacific Southwestern region and the Plains States was most likely due to smoke in this general region, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The smoke in this area ranged from heavy to light plumes of smoke. This smoke could be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Ozone levels, however, were somewhat higher, with up to Code Red (Unsafe) levels being seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Plains States, and the Rocky Mountain States.