MODIS AQUA observed a number of fires across Alabama (see the NOAA AVHRR and MODIS fire detects on the image to the left below) and plumes are quite visible in the clear air. We are having some difficulty with imagery from AIRNOW tonight, but AIRNOWTech allows us to retrieve plots of PM2.5 across Utah (below right). Logan has been in the Code Orange to Red range throughout the day.
Patricia pointed out that Utah suffered on Friday as well and we have been seeing elevated PM levels in Utah all year. The Governor of Utah blames his meteorologists:
"What we need is better meteorology... Last year we had one exceedence of PM 2.5. This year we've had 20 and it's all because of meteorology, not because of anything else. So maybe get me a better weatherman."
Sadly, we cannot control the weather. We can, however, understand the meteorological conditions which lead to poor air quality and control emissions in those bad meteorological regimes. The Governor of Utah does his constituents a grave misservice of his duties when he does not feel that air pollution control is his responsibility or that the health of the people in Utah deserves more than a snide quip.
In good news, the Space resupply ship Dragon finally connected up with the International Space Station today. Dragon had several issues in powering up thrusters and deploying its solar panels. To the credit of Space-X (the Dragon manufacturer), they were able to diagnose and fix their problems, adjust the orbit and make a rendevous without a problem. On the left below, there is a great photo from the ISS of Dragon over Africa and on the right, Commander Chris Hadfield shows at self-portrait of him, the cupola windows and Space-X's Dragon on approach.
Image credits: Chris Hadfield, CSA-ASC and NASA.
Posted by Ray Hoff at March 3, 2013 8:42 PM