August 24, 2011

Smoke from Rocky Mountain Fires Yields High AOD and Arrives to Baltimore

Fire activity has increased in Montana and Wyoming, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Location of the fires in Montana and Wyoming, and the extension of their respective smoke plumes were captured in today's MODIS Aqua "true color" image (top left image). The smoke has made its way into the eastern US (top right image), spreading throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley States (Moderate PM2.5 concentrations were reported over this region). The high AODs (bottom left image) over the United States are due to smoke from the Rocky Mountain and Lower Mississippi Valley Fires, while Saharan desert dust led to high AOD readings over the Atlantic Ocean along southern Florida and southeastern United States.

Lidar observations at UMBC (bottom right image) shows the smoke slowly descending, from about 4 to 1.9 km, into the boundary layer. The amount of smoke aloft intensified, as the day progressed. Clouds were observed capping the boundary layer (between 16:00 and 23:00 UTC) and at heights above 10 km.

Posted by Ruben Delgado at August 24, 2011 9:33 PM
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