There are a few areas of the US that have moderate air quality readings on AIRNOW. For a short period overnight, there was a period of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in Idaho. Later in the day the particulate AQI reached the "moderate" level in the southern San Joaquin Valley, near Kansas City, MO, and in Mississippi. The HMS Fire product shows a band of fires through North Dakota and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba. These may be an artifact of the surface reflectivity or localized agricultural burning. No smoke plumes are identified over North America today. What a difference a few weeks makes, especially when cold weather arrives. The UMBC MPL image today shows how absolutely crisp and clear it was over Maryland today. A beautiful day.
Update: October 14, 2012 20:00 EDT
Air quality remains good across the US except in California where some elevated haze in the San Joaquin Valley (left) and LA Basin (right) brought the AQI to moderate levels. In January and February of 2013, we will be out in the San Joaquin Valley in Porterville, CA, as part of the DISCOVER-AQ mission deployment. In the second experiment for DISCOVER-AQ, we will be examining the ability to retrieve PM2.5 concentrations from space using the aerosol optical depth in the valley. The NASA P3-B and UC-12 aircraft will fly sorties up as far north as Sacramento and will be based at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, CA. More on this experiment later.