September 15, 2010

Smoke of Utah's Fishlake National Forest Wildfire over Midwest States; Moderate AQI in the Southeast and Mississippi Valley States

The National Interagency Fire Center reported light wildland fire activity across the nation. Fires were reported in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Washington. According to Inciweb the fires in California's Sequoia National Forest and Utah's Fishlake National Forest was caused by humans (still under investigation) and lightning, respectively. Smoke from the Utah's wildfires was reported by NOAA's Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product. They indicated that smoke associated with these fires was visible east of Utah, northern Colorado, southeast Wyoming, western and central Nebraska, and central to eastern South Dakota. During today's AQUA overpass, the MODIS sensor RGB image (upper left image, HYSPLIT forward trajectories are overlaid in this image to show where the smoke plume originated) shows smoke over Nebraska and the high AOD's (upper right image) associated to this smoky air mass.

EPA Airnow's Ozone AQI animation (left animation) shows that Code Yellow (Moderate) ozone concentrations were recorded over California, the Southeast, Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes States. PM2.5 AQI (right animation) animation shows that Moderate Concentrations were recorded over the Southeast and MIssissippi Valley states. These MOderate concentrations were caused by a high pressure over the region that produced sunny skies and limited vertical mixing in the atmosphere, supporting ozone formation and trapping pollutants near the surface, respectively.

Posted by Ruben Delgado at September 15, 2010 10:21 PM

Thanks for this post, Ruben. The connection between the MODIS plume and the Twitchell Canyon Fire was helpful. It appears from CALIPSO and Boulder GVHSRL that smoke from this fire got into the free troposphere as high as nearly 10 km. This implies extreme fire behavior and pyroconvection.

Posted by: Mike Fromm at September 16, 2010 6:05 AM
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