October 15, 2017

California Fires Continue Raging

Calm winds in California today provide a small bit of relief compared to previous days as the fires that have burned over 200,000 acres in California continue (NBC News). The smoke from these fires is producing heavy and light density smoke, shown by the HMS image in the top left. This smoke is clearly visible among clouds in satellite imagery (Nasa WorldView, top right). This smoke is having a clear affect on particulate matter concentration at the surface. The AirNow PM AQI image shows unhealthy levels (red) in the areas afflicted by the wildfire (bottom left). In addition, surface ozone levels are unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange) around that area as well, with moderate levels everywhere else (AirNow, bottom right).



October 12, 2017

Low PM 2.5 and Ozone continues

Air quality today was mostly good, with only Code Yellow (moderate) and some Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) levels of PM 2.5 being sen in the Pacific Southwest, the Rocky Mountain States, and the southern Plains States (AirNow, top left). The elevated levels of PM 2.5 seen in the Pacific Southwest were most likely due to smoke from wildfires in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The smoke could also be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left, among some cloud coverage. Ozone levels continue to stay low across the nation, with only some Code Yellow levels being seen in the Southeast and the Pacific Southwest (NOAA, bottom right).

October 9, 2017

Fires and Heavy Smoke in Northern California

Today was a nice and clear day throughout the nation. However, just north of San Francisco, CA, more than a dozen wildfires tore through wildlife and communities with at least 11 people reported killed by the fires. In the Terra satellite imaging below (top left), we see the mass amounts of smoke produced by the Sunday evening fires. The smoke is most dense at the origin but heavy concentrations of smoke is seen in the Pacific Ocean (HMS, top right). AOD trajectories provided by VIIRS CONUS (bottom) shows a 48-hour projection of the elevated AOD continuing to move out West into the Pacific Ocean while the trajectory pressure will circle back into California and the Pacific Northwest region. It is predicted that this will leave the PM concentrations relatively high in the region.

October 5, 2017

Low Ozone and Moderate PM 2.5

Air quality today was not too bad, with mostly Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 being seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, and some parts of the Mississippi Valley (AirNow, top left). These elevated levels of Pm 2.5 were due to scattered amounts of smoke coverage in these areas, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. Some of the smoke could be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra images mixed in with very light cloud coverage, bottom left. Ozone was also pretty low today, as it usually is in the autumnal months. Only some Code Yellow levels of ozone were found in the Mississippi Valley and the Southwest, along with some Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) levels in Southern California (AirNow, bottom right).

September 29, 2017

Low PM 2.5 continues

Air quality today was pretty good, with mostly Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 appearing in the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, the Pacific Southwest, and the Mid-Atlantic (AirNow, top left). There was almost no some coverage in the country, which may be partially due to the end of the wildfires in the Pacific Southwest and the Rocky Mountain States which burned for weeks continuously. There was only some smoke in the California and Nevada, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. This smoke didn't seem to cause any major issues in air quality in this area. Some of this smoke, however, was captured in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Finally, ozone levels were very low, with only some Code Yellow levels appearing in the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. These low levels of ozone should continue as the Autumn season comes.

September 26, 2017

Hurricane Maria and AOD

Today we observed a rather moderate day with low to moderate levels of AQI throughout the nation as seen in the AirNow image below (top left). As Hurricane Maria continues its path, surrounding clouds carry a lot of dirt and other pollutants over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions as seen below (EOSDIS, top right). The Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes region saw heightened levels of PM and Ozone throughout the day. Sulfates were once again observed over the Great Lakes region and stretching as far south as Texas (Copernicus mid left). Sulfate concentrations were most dense on the border of Texas and Mexico. It is believed that the raise in Ozone is because of high temperatures (NOAA climate chart, mid right) and smoke from agricultural fires in Arkansas and Louisiana (HMS, bottom). Fires in California have produced smoke that has traveled southwest into the Pacific Ocean.

September 25, 2017

Elevated PM and Ozone

Today was a clear day throughout the nation with little observed AQI on the west coast. The Mississippi Valley and Great lakes region observed elevated amounts of PM and Ozone as seen in the AirNow image below (top left). It is believed that remnant smoke and recent agricultural fires in Arkansas and Missouri may have been key contributors to the elevated PM in the Mississippi Valley (HMS, top right). Ozone concentrations maintained low levels in the Great Lakes region today but it is believed that remnant smoke and high temperatures (NOAA Climate Chart, bottom left) have contributed to slight elevations of ozone in the region. Low amounts of Sulfate were observed in the Great Lakes region earlier today, as seen in the Copernicus image below (bottom right), with no known origin.