The most intense heat wave of the summer thus far has commenced over the Plain states, stretching as far north as North Dakota through Southern Texas (bottom left, courtesy Accuweather). Even folks in Denver, CO experienced sizzling temperatures today, rising towards triple digits by late afternoon. Unfortunately, temperatures were not the only indices rising, ozone levels were climbing in tandem with the heat (bottom right, courtesy AIRNow).
By far the worse conditions occurred across eastern Texas near Dallas and Houston, which reached Unhealthy (Code Red) ozone levels, surpassing 100 ppb (bottom left, courtesy AIRNow). In addition, the extreme heat and low humidity conditions are exacerbating risks for wildfire growth across this already hard hit area and could provide fuel to initiate new fires. The HMS analysis team reports visible smoke again from the Colorado fires, while what appears to be unabated light to moderate remnant smoke traverses the central United States (bottom right).
Moderate (Code Yellow) and a few isolated Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Code Orange) PM2.5 levels were measured today across the aforementioned region, as well as Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Mississippi Valley, Great Lakes, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast states (bottom left, courtesy AIRNow). Elevated AOD levels were also recorded today for some of these locations by the MODIS sensor onboard NASA's AQUA satellite (bottom right).