September 17, 2017

Low Ozone Levels; Smoke in the Northwest

The AirNow particulate matter AQI image (top left) shows mostly moderate levels throughout the day. However, it reached levels that were unhealthy for sensitive groups(orange) in California, Oregon, Washington, and briefly, in Oklahoma. In addition, California, Oregon, and Washington reached unhealthy conditions (red). The particularly high PM AQI levels may be due, in part, to several small fires in those areas. The HMS image shows small areas of medium and light density smoke there (top right). A separate HMS image shows a large area of light density remnant smoke spanning most of the Great Lakes, and Northeast regions, as well as the northern Mid-Atlantic region (HMS, bottom left). The origin of this smoke is unknown, but it is moving northeast. Surface Ozone AQI was low today, it didn't reach more than moderate levels (AirNow, bottom right).

September 14, 2017

Smoke in Northwest spreads; Hurricane Jose heads North-west

Air quality in the nation was bad again today, with Codes Yellow, Orange, and Red (Moderate, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, and Unsafe, respectively), with most of this PM 2.5 being located in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rocky Mountain States due to the ongoing wildfires in this area (AirNow, top left). One of the largest fires in this area is the Chetco Bar Fire in Oregon, spanning over 188,000 acres and counting (InciWeb). The smoke coverage in this area was shown in NOAA's HMS map, top right, which lines up with the general spread of elevated PM 2.5 levels in the North-west. Images of the smoke were also captured in NASA's MODIS Terra satellite images, mid-left.

Ozone levels, however, were mostly good today, with only Code Yellow levels appearing in the Rocky Mountain States, the Mississippi Valley, and the Great Lakes Region (weather.gov, mid-right). Hurricane Jose continues to more North-west, with winds of up to 70 mph. The current location of the hurricane can be seen in NOAA's hurricane map, bottom left.

September 10, 2017

Fires Continue in Canada and Northern Rocky Mountains; Irma Closing in

The HMS smoke product shown in the top left shows heavy smoke over a majority of the northeast and north-central United States as well as central and eastern Canada. The smoke is linked to significant ongoing fires in northern Idaho, western Montana, and several areas in central Canada. The smoke is clearly visible by satellite, shown by the NASA WorldView image (top right). The smoke from these fires is having a clear affect on particulate matter concentration. The AirNow AQI image, shown in the bottom left, shows unhealthy (red) levels of particulate matter in the areas with heavy smoke. Unrelated to the smoke, hurricane Irma seems to be making its way toward land. The NASA WorldView satellite imagery from Sunday shows Irma closing in on Florida with the eye somewhere near the western coast.

September 7, 2017

Smoke continues from Pacific Northwest wilfires; Hurricane Irma movies towards Florida

Air quality was very bad today, with a lot of Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) levels in the Pacific Northwest region, with lots of Codes Red, Orange, and Yellow (Unhealthy, Unsafe for Sensitive Groups, and Moderate, respectively) levels in the same area (AirNow, top left). This elevated PM 2.5 was due to the ongoing wildfires in the Pacific Northwest area, mostly in Idaho and Montana. One of the largest fires in the area, the Saphire Complex fire in Montana, currently spans over 40,000 acres and counting (InciWeb). The smoke coverage in this area can be seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right, which corresponds to the PM 2.5 coverage discussed earlier.
Ozone levels, however, were mostly good today, with mostly Code Yellow levels being seen in the Pacific Southwest, the Rocky Mountain States, and the Plains States (NOAA, bottom left).
Hurricane Irma continues to move towards Florida and the rest of the Southern East coast. It is currently moving towards the Turks and Caicos Islands. Part of the hurricane was captured in NASA's satellite images, bottom right.

September 4, 2017

Pacific Northwest Fires Continue

In Air Quality News, Ozone maintained a relatively low to moderate concentration in the Rocky Mountain States and the Pacific Southwest region while PM reached heavy and dangerous levels In the Pacific Northwest as PM shows a slight elevation in the Great Lakes region, the Mississippi Valley and much of the eastern border of the Plain States (AirNow, top left). In the HMS image below (top right), we see that the fires and dense smoke that have been running rampant in the Pacific Northwest were the main contributors to the heightened levels of PM observed today. Smoke was most dense in Washington, Montana and Idaho as its spans east into the Rocky Mountain States and further into the Great Lakes region. As seen in the EOSDIS image below (bottom left) much of this smoke is highly concentrated toward Central US while smoke more south towards Texas and Mississippi is more remnant smoke. AOD Trajectories (bottom right) show smoke continuing to move east into the Atlantic Ocean where an area of light density smoke is already present.

September 3, 2017

LARGE FIRES IN NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS CONTINUE; HURRICANE IRMA

Several fires burning close to the borders of Montana and Idaho are causing large, heavy smoke plumes spanning the north central and north west regions of the country (HMS, top left). Collectively, the fires have burned more than 12,000 acres. The smoke produced is having clearly visible from satellite, shown by the NASA WorldView image (top right). All this smoke is having a clear affect on air quality index (AQI). The AirNow particulate matter AQI image for 09/03/2017 shows that AQI reached unhealthy levels (red) in the areas near the fires, and very unhealthy levels (maroon) in northern California (bottom left). Unrelated to the fires, hurricane Irma, expected to wreak havoc in the Virgin Islands and southeastern US, is seen forming via satellite (NASA Worldview, bottom right). Though the exact path is currently unknown, it's moving west toward the virgin islands.

August 31, 2017

Smoke coverage over Pacific Southwest spreads to plains States

PM 2.5 was very bad again today, with a lot of Code Red(Unsafe) levels of PM 2.5 and Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) being seen in the Pacific Northwest due to the ongoing wildfires in this area (AirNow, top left). The smoke coverage could be seen in NOAA's HMS map coverage, top right, which lines up with the places which were most harshly affected by PM 2.5. The smoke also spread towards the Plains States. The smoke in this area was less dense, but the smoke did still travel there. NASA's MODIS Terra images managed to capture images of the smoke in the Pacific Northwest (bottom left). Ozone, on the other hand, was not very bad, with only Code Orange and Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 being seen over California.