June 5, 2011

We're baaaaaack! Fires across the US and a bad one at UMBC

For those who wonder where we've been since Wednesday, UMBC had a major transformer explosion and fire associated with the soccer stadium lighting. When that transformer failed, the main campus transformer and switching system blew up and caught fire. Working all week since then, a new transformer has been installed and the power is now back on line. Thanks to Physical Plant for their efforts in restoring power and getting our lidar roof hatch closed and secured without power. Thanks particularly to Ray Soellner for his efforts in the lab.

I will not be able to catch up on all the air quality since Wednesday but clearly the Arizona fires have been delivering smoke across the US. Mark Ruminski of NOAA has sent us links to loops (careful! you need to have ftp capability and these are 12-30Mb files) for the Wallow fire for the visible loop, the near IR and far IR. Heavy smoke covers Arizona and the lee of the Rockies up through Colorado. A broad swath of smoke can be seen across the US south in the MODIS Terra RGB image with the AIRNOW surface stations superimposed. Particularly dense smoke is seen in northern Alabama and Georgia with ground concentrations in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange) range.

This evening I flew back from Toronto to Baltimore and it was very hazy over northern New York and Pennsylvania and that too shows up in the AOD image on the right.

The Wallow fire formed a pyroCb on June 2 and has been followed by the pyroCb listserve. Another pyroCb was noted in Alberta on June 1 by Rene Servranckx of the Canadian Meteorological Center. We also have found a new link from Dave Dubois on the New Mexico Air Quality Blog. HMS shows the extent of smoke across the US and Canada.

Posted by Ray Hoff at June 5, 2011 9:13 PM
Comments

Great to hear that ten years after I left UMBC, Ray Soellner is still busy being awesome.

Posted by: Rob Carlson at June 8, 2011 11:16 AM
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