December 11, 2012

Fires across the country with light plumes and low AOD.

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 not any noticeable large plumes to report at this time, but small ones in Nevada. There are scattered fires across the central portion of the country and a small concentration of fires in Florida. 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. There are raised values in the center of the country (which may be also due to nitrates). There are moderate and USG values (courtesy EPA AIRNOW but not shown) that are due to PM 2.5 in the area. This may be similar to the hazy conditions observed recently in the San Joaquin Valley, CA. This appears to be heaviest in the Hanford and Bakersfield areas.

The first image below, courtesy NOAA, shows the national ozone forecast, which has ozone following the warmer temperatures and lower cloud cover in the Pacific southwest. These values are the modeled 1-hr average ozone values (ppb). There are also elevated concentrations of NO2 below in the OMI Tropospheric NRT measurement. This shows that a major component of this particulate matter in the center of the country is nitrate aerosols. This may also be the reason for the large AOD values in the center of the country in the GASP MODIS Terra image above.

Posted by John Sullivan at December 11, 2012 7:21 PM
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