February 19, 2013

Raised P.M. 2.5 in Utah, Fires continue in the Southeast

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. Most of these are in the northern Great Lakes region (courtesy NAAPS but not shown). The raised AOD in southern California that is most likely due to dust blowing in the area.

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 EPA Airnow, shows the raised AQI values, which correspond to raised PM 2.5 for the Pacific Southwest, specifically northern Utah. At this site, which is near Salt Lake City, wood/coal stoves or fireplaces have been banned for the meantime.

Posted by John Sullivan at February 19, 2013 4:05 PM
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