March 5, 2013

Fires in the Southeast region with large plume. Dust blowing in TX/OK/NM

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 with a large plume moving towards the Mid-Atlantic region. There is also a large plume moving in towards the Gulf of Mexico.
The second 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 in the Plains region. The raised AOD in Texas is most likely due to dust blowing in the area. Notice the aerosols moving out from southern Louisiana and emptying into the Gulf.

The first image, courtesy EPA AIRNOW, shows the AQI values for the country today. Most of these scattered code yellows on the eastern half of the country are due to PM 2.5. In the southeast they are likely due to a mix of smoke coming from fires in the region and the Mid-Atlantic/Great Lakes are due to sulfates that are also in the region at this time. The next image, courtesy NAAPS, shows the modeled AOD for the entire country for today. The model picks up the sulfates as well as the dust blowing. As usual, the sulfates and the dust will continue to move eastward.

Posted by John Sullivan at March 5, 2013 2:48 PM
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