September 22, 2012

Weekend edition: Another appalling week for smoke in the Northwest

And so the story continues. Word from Washington today was that lightning storms were expected to raise new fires in the drought savaged northwest states. The MODIS AQUA red-green-blue (RGB) imagery shows that fires are still raging in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The smoke over Idaho was so intense that the Aerosol Optical Depth retrievals were missing in the middle of the plume (identified as cloud). EPA's AIRNOW website has identified large areas as Unhealthy.

The smoke spread all the way south to Texas and Louisiana (AOD image left). The HMS system has identified large areas of the country as smoke covered (lower, right).

Update: September 23, 2012

AIRNOWTech has gone over to Version 2 and I'm still learning how to use it. On the left is the overlay of fires in red, HMS smoke in grey, EPA sites as triangles or colored dots where there is data, wind barbs.... A bit of a graphic salad though so it will take some time to get this right. On the right image, smoke from the fires in Oregon, Washington and Idaho as wrapped up in the Vancouver basin and now will impact the highly populated areas of Seattle and Vancouver.

Posted by Ray Hoff at September 22, 2012 11:21 PM

Do you know what was going on in Mobile, Alabama over weekend (Sat-9/22)? They had some type of PM2.5 incident that looked centered around Mobile Bay and reached hazardous above 300 twice. I still haven't found anything in news about incident or air quality warnings. Airnow archive link:

Posted by: G. Montgomery at September 24, 2012 1:20 PM

Actually, I missed this. I'm having some issues with AIRNOWTech2.0, but let me check on it.

Posted by: Ray Hoff at September 24, 2012 10:26 PM

G. Montgomery:

For several hours the Chicasaw monitor read 1000 ug m^3 which is probably a sampler issue. It would be unlikely that that would go unnoticed.

I'll send you the graph by email. You could ask the Alabama Department of Environmental Management about whether these data have been confirmed as invalid.

Dr. Hoff

Posted by: Ray Hoff at September 24, 2012 10:47 PM
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