Air quality in Utah continue to show levels from moderate to unhealthy as reported by AIrNow (top left). Moderate and unhealthy levels were also experienced in Texas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama (top right). In the same region, several fires were detected and reported by HMS. Some small plumes were seen in Florida, however, smoke and possibly other unknown aerosol appeared to be streaming northwestward from the western portion of Cuba passing just to the southwest of the Florida Keys. In addition, a large area of remnant smoke from fires in Mexico and Central America could be seen over the western Gulf of Mexico this evening streaming northward. The remnant smoke extended to the southeastern tip of Louisiana before it mixed with clouds that obscured the region.
MODIS AOD product retrieved high AOD in the area with presence of smoke and dust (bottom).
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image (left) showing large bush fires burning in southwestern Victoria on February 18, 2013. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires. Winds blew a long plume of smoke south toward the Bass Strait.
About 300 firefighters using dozens of vehicles and 14 aircraft were battling the fires, which were burning near Grampians National Park. Lightning ignited a number of fires about a week ago; two of them merged to create the large fire shown here. Authorities estimated that it had burned about 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) by Feb. 19.