Today, the nation experienced an increase in the Ozone levels during the afternoon. The concentrations were good during the morning and turned moderate and unhealthy levels for sensitive groups in several regions, most of them eastern regions, and California in the west (top left). On the other hand, PM2.5 levels were good and moderate in the Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Southeast regions, Texas and California. Fires burning in northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana are producing large amounts of smoke that has spread away from source fires to cover much of the region. The remnant smoke is moving eastward, with the largest area and thickest density smoke located in Montana (top right). True color images captured by MODIS show smoke from the fires over the region previously mentioned (middle left). High AOD levels were also detected in the same region due to the smoke (middle right). In addition to the fires in the USA, smoke emitted from fires burning in Alberta and British Columbia continues to cover much of Canada. This afternoon, the largest smoke output occurred over the Northwest Territories, leaving moderately dense to thick-density smoke covering the region.
Finally, high AOD levels were retrieved in Oklahoma and Texas due to the remnant smoke in Oklahoma during the last days (bottom).
Special Feature: Dust Dominates Overseas Aerosol Imports to North America
NASA and university scientists have made the first measurement-based estimate of the tiny airborne particles--aerosols--that arrive by air in North America each year. According to the analysis, 64 million tons of dust, pollutants, and other particles cross the oceans and mix into the air over North America each year. That's nearly as much as the estimated 69 million tons of aerosols produced domestically by natural processes, transportation, and industrial sources.
With the three-dimensional view of the atmosphere provided by satellites, scientists were able to distinguish dust from pollution from combustion. They estimated that dust crossing the Pacific Ocean from Asia accounts for 88 percent (56 million tons) of the total particle import to North America (full report courtesy: Earth Observatory).