Staffing was minimal today as everyone is out watching the ball drop in New York City and the Congress doing their Thelma and Louise imitation flying off the Fiscal Cliff.
Areas of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups are seen throughout the country (California, Florida, Utah). The time animation shows that this haze popped up in the evening hours and Florida is clearly at midnight. Fireworks can be expected to cause increased haze across the country. Some areas like Napa Valley in California seem to be getting the jump on midnight, however.
The PM readings in Baltimore were briefly elevated last night, but nothing like Florida below. Wow! As with Napa, the PM starts elevating well before midnight so it is not just fireworks. Sitting beside the hearth at last night's New Year's Eve party, I suspect that throwing a log on the fire had a lot to do with these levels. It does cause you to pause and think about the true "environmental benefit" of wood fired cogeneration of electricity. A letter to the Baltimore Sun said that using wood to make electricity is "carbon neutral". Not if you consider the black carbon pollution.
Interestingly, Florida Department of Environmental Protection is now reporting "Green" air quality.Posted by Ray Hoff at December 31, 2012 11:50 PM