November 7, 2012

Smoke in the Gulf of Mexico and Dust over Alaska

NOAA HMS reports the presence of smoke over the western Gulf of Mexico. This smoke is believed to be from numerous fires in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and was captured in the MODIS-Terra retrieval (RGB and AOD, top left and right images, respectively). The AOD values recorded over northern Mexico and southwestern Texas are due to remnant smoke from a fire burning in north central Arizona.

Mike Fromm (from the Naval Research Laboratory and pyrocb listserve) made us aware of the presence of dust over Alaska. The dust aloft origin is suspected to be the Taklamakan (or other nearby Mongolian) Desert, an intense storm spun up that region on November 2. The left image below is from the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (Ed Eloranta's Univ. of Wisconsin Lidar Group), in Barrow, Alaska, which shows the presence of dust from 2-9 km during their observations.

Regarding the US air quality, ozone concentrations were Good across the nation. PM2.5 concentrations were Moderate (Code Yellow) along the Plain States and in California, as shown below in the PM2.5 AQI animation.

Posted by Ruben Delgado at November 7, 2012 9:35 PM
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