February 12, 2013

Fires in the Southeast, Plains and Texas region. Dust blowing in Southern California and Texas.

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 small plumes and 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 and Plains regions and Texas. 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 high amounts of sulfates across the eastern portion of the country which may have increased the AOD. The OMI Tropospheric NO2 image for the day also shows an increase of nitrates along the eastern seaboard. There remains a large increase in the AOD in central California that may be due to these sulfates/nitrates and southern California that is most likely due to dust blowing in the area, which I will discuss in the next paragraph.

Various small plumes are currently blowing throughout the southern California and the west Texas region. The NOAA dust forecast shows that this dust will be moving eastward throughout the week and may empty out into the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. The next image, courtesy GEOS-5 shows the modeled AOD for the country today. This model has a similar raise in AOD in Texas that may be due the dust blowing. The model also shows an increase across the eastern seaboard that may be due to the additional nitrates or sulfates in the region. The EPA AQI values for these regions have remained low for the day, contrary to the modeled relatively large AOD.

Posted by John Sullivan at February 12, 2013 5:04 PM
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