November 12, 2012

Unhealthy AQI in California; Blowing dust traverses east

Moderate (Code Yellow) AQI were recorded today across the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast states. Extreme portions of southwest California near Carmel Valley experienced the worst air quality conditions, reaching Unhealthy (Code Red) by 8PM CST (top left, courtesy AIRNow). An extended area of remnant blowing dust believed to have originated from the blowing dust event that occured over portions of New Mexico, western Texas and eastern Colorado this past weekend, was observed further east, stretching from central Wisconsin through Oklahoma. NOAA's HYSPLIT Trajectory model indicates the air mass over northeast Oklahoma originated west, near Colorado (top right). In addition, this evenings 00 UTC upper-air data shows dry air over the Mid-Mississippi Valley, as well as clockwise flow over Texas (bottom left, courtesy NOAA SPC). In addition to the anticyclonic wind flow, a cloud-free, subsidence driven atmosphere observed by MODIS Terra this afternoon over Texas tells the story of High Pressure affecting the region and possibly the capacity for air mixing in the Planetary Boundary Layer (bottom right). Further east in the same image we see a stark demarcation of stratocumulus clouds from the powerful cold front responsible for initiating the weekend dust storms.

Posted by Alexandra St Pe at November 12, 2012 11:02 PM
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