October 6, 2015

fairly good aqi; Smoke in south yields high aod

Moderate PM 2.5 levels were widespread throughout the Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes regions (top left, AirNow). The northern portion of the Idaho-Montana border reached unhealthy AQI likely caused by a localized pocket of smoke from ongoing wildfires. The NRL aerosol model reveals smoke present from wildfires originating along the Texas coast and southern Mississippi Valley region (top right). The NOAA VIIRS image shows corresponding elevated AOD in those regions (bottom left).

October 5, 2015

Relatively Good Air Quality, Scattered pockets of smoke remain

Fires and smoke along the Idaho and Montana border was observed again today, as well as a pocket of smoke extending offshore from northern California, and scatter fires and smoke across the southern Gulf coastline (top left, courtesy HMS analysis team). Despite today's reported smoke layers, air quality indices were general Good today, with only a few areas of scattered Code Yellow, Moderate levels (top right). Smoke billowing from Idaho/Montana fires appears to show up in today's Aqua satellite overpass, which depicts hazy-like conditions in MODIS "True Color" imagery (bottom left) and slightly elevated aerosol optical depth readings nearby (bottom right).

October 2, 2015

Fires Continue in Idaho; Rain in East

The EPA AQI loop below left shows an area of Unhealthy AQIs along the Idaho-Montana border that prompted a Air Quality Alerts from both states' Departments of Environmental Quality. This is probably related to the fires in northern Idaho, such as the Grizzly Complex shown in the MODIS Terra image below right.

The NWS watch, warning, and advisory map below left shows the Air Quality Alerts in Idaho as gray, while those in Montana seem to be hidden under a Wind Advisory. It also shows Red Flag warnings in Arizona and New Mexico, so be careful of fire in those areas, as well as the flood concerns across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast due to the continuing rains across the area and the Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings for Joaquin east of Florida. The MODIS Aqua image below right shows the clouds from both these systems, which seem to be keeping air quality in these regions pretty good.

September 30, 2015

Wildfire Smoke Affects the Northwest

Wildfires burning in Northern Idaho and parts of Oregon and Montana are creating relatively small plumes of light to medium smoke as seen in the HMS image (top left). These fires are the cause of the poor air quality experienced in the region. The AQI animation, top right, shows an area of moderate air quality in the Northwest. At the heart is a small area of unhealthy air quality aloft the larger group of fires. However, good air quality was experienced throughout the rest of the nation. The NAAPS image, bottom left, shows the surface concentration of smoke in North America. The Northwestern fires and fires in South Central Canada are the cause of the large coverage over Southwestern Canada and Northwestern United Sates. The small section of smoke concentration over the Central Plains is being caused by controlled agricultural fires that are only creating light smoke.

September 29, 2015

elevated aod in central u.s.; Smoke on idaho-montana border

Relatively good AQI across the nation with a few exceptions in the Pacific Northwest and the Plains states (AirNow, top left). The northern portions of the Idaho-Montana border reached code red unhealthy PM 2.5 due to a localized region of smoke from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. This area of smoke can be seen in the HMS combined fire and smoke product (top right). Moderate AQI levels in the central U.S. can likely be accounted for by elevated sulfates shown in the NRL Aerosol model (bottom left). There were corresponding heavy aerosol loadings displayed in the NOAA GASP image (bottom right).

September 28, 2015

Generally Quiet AQI across the United States

No major smoke layers observed today, only a few localized pocket reported along the Idaho-Montana border (top left, courtesy HMS). Today's air quality indices (AQI) was generally good, despite a wide area of Code Yellow, Moderate over Texas and part of the Plain States (top right). According to the NRL Aerosol model, a layer of sulfates were also reported in the same region of Moderate AQI (bottom left). Finally, today's Terra MODIS imagery demonstrates slightly elevated AOD in the same region, however clouds near the region contaminated most of retrieval (bottom right).

September 27, 2015

Smoke from Mississippi Agricultural Fires spreading in the Mid-West

PM2.5 AQI animation (top left image) shows that Moderate levels were reported for most of the day in Texas and Louisiana. A low-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico will increase cloudiness over this region in the incoming days, reducing ozone formation. Scattered thunderstorms will increase mixing, helping to disperse pollutants over this region. NOAA Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product indicated that a plume of unknown aerosols was visible in the central Plains, in areas of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. This stationary plume may be the result of the mixed burning that has been taking place in the Mississippi River Valley the past week. The smoke aloft was observed in the MODIS Terra AOD product, with values ranging from 0.1 to 0.3.