January 22, 2013

Continuing PM 2.5 in Pacific Northwest, Large concentration of fires in Southeast/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 but a high concentration of fires in the Southeast region . These fires have been burning steadily for the past few days. Most of these patches of fires also extend into the Mississippi Valley region. The image below, courtesy GASP East (Goes EAST), shows the derived AOD animation 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. You can see raised values off the western coast of the Southeast region and the Gulf of Mexico that may be due to the concentration of fires in the region. There are also high amounts of sulfates across the eastern portion of the country, which may have increased the AOD. Also, there remains a large increase in the AOD in southern California that is most likely due to dust blowing in the area.

The first image below shows the image for EPA AIRNOW AQI values for the country today. Specifically, in Washington and northern Oregon there are large amounts of particulate matter (PM 2.5) that are stagnant in the region. Wood burning bans are in effect for the region and the air quality should improve over the next few days. Utah is also showing some code reds and oranges for P.M. 2.5. Additionally, the GEOS-5 Chemistry model shows an increase in AOD following the plume of smoke debris originating in the Southeast region and moving off the eastern coast of Florida. There may also be sulfates raising the AOD in the Mid-Atlantic region. (upper left corner of image).

Also, here is another informative article on the ongoing air quality resolution in Beijing, China.

Posted by John Sullivan at January 22, 2013 2:39 PM
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