April 17, 2010

Smoke dominates today's air quality

Agricultural burning in the Plains States continues to dominate the nation's air quality picture. The NOAA Hazard Mapping System shows two broad bands of smoke running up through the Great Lakes and eastward into the Southeast. The GASP loop shows that these high levels of aerosol optical depth are being wrapped around a high pressure area centered in Kentucky and Tennessee. There is considerable cloud behind the front that moved through the mid-Atlantic this week and the cold air in the Northeast states is bringing the risk of snow. This air is being wrapped around a low pressure area over Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. The GASP projected trajectories show that haze will dominate the east over the next few days. On a positive note, there are only a few areas which have PM readings in the moderate range indicating that this smoke remains aloft.

The GASP AOD loop shows the broad band of high AOD over the Plains States and up through the Great Lakes (left panel). The RGB image from MODIS Terra shows this haze as well as a band of smoke off the east coast in the Southeast.

On a personal note, we said goodbye today to a valued colleague, Professor W. Wallace McMillan of UMBC. A short quicktime movie loop can be found on the JCET homepage.

Posted by Ray Hoff at April 17, 2010 11:09 PM
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