November 13, 2012

Moderate fire activity in the Pacific Southwest and Mississippi Valley

The first image below, courtesy NOAA HMS, shows the fire locations across the United States. The red dots correspond to active fires, and the grey areas are plumes. There are very light plumes in the Pacific Southwest region. These fires have been burning steadily for the past few days. There are also some small patches of fires in the Mississippi Valley and Florida. The plume coming from southern California may be due to residential wood burning. The image below, courtesy GASP MODIS (Terra satellite), shows the AOD image for the country today. You can see that most of these raised values correspond to more optically thick areas, which correspond to the fires and smoke debris throughout the nation. The western portion of the country was difficult to image today, but the slightly raised values in the Pacific Southwest, specifically in southern Nevada, may be due to dust.

The first image below, courtesy EPA AIRNOW, shows the loop of AQI values for the entire country. Most of these raised values are due to small local fires. As mentioned before, southern California has some code oranges throughout the day. Some local areas like the San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains may experience PM2.5 AQIs in the Moderate/USG air quality categories due to residential wood smoke on the colder nights, particularly in the lower shaded parts of the Valley where cold air tends to settle in. The next image below shows the NOAA ozone forecast for the entire country.

Posted by John Sullivan at November 13, 2012 4:13 PM
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