July 17, 2012

Smoke from Canadian Fires Continues to pour into Northeast. Increased ozone formation also gives code red to CT.

The first image below, courtesy NOAA HMS, shows the fire locations across the United States. The red dots correspond to active fires, and the grey areas are plumes. The largest plumes are dominated by the Canadian fires which have been emitting smoke and debris into the atmosphere for the past few days. The animation below shows the GASP AOD loop for today. You can see raised values of AOD corresponding to fire and smoke locations (not only from Canada, but also in OK/TX/KS).

The first image below shows the measured OMI tropospheric NO2 from today. You can see the increase in today for the Mid-Atlantic region. NO2, mixed with the large amount of heat and sunlight that has been hitting the east coast this week, is a strong precursor for ozone formation. The next animation shows the EPA AIRNOW hourly ground based values for ozone monitoring.

The first image below shows the hourly ozone values for CT. You can see the large increase throughout the day, as the surface warms. The large amounts of ozone, mixed with moderate amounts of PM 2.5 for a majority of the Northeast caused several code reds for CT today. The next image, courtesy National Park Service (NPS) shows the webcam from McFarland Hill in Acadia National Park (ME), taken on July 18, 2012 8:00 AM EST. I thought this was an interesting image, because the NPS states that today the visual range is less than 11 miles, whereas on a clear day, they can see approximately 153 miles. So if you plan on vacationing in this region over the next few days, those beautiful Northeast Appalachians will be difficult to photograph.

Posted by John Sullivan at July 17, 2012 11:59 AM
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