June 13, 2013

Moderate PM2.5: Black Forest fire images

Air quality conditions today are similar to those reported yesterday for PM2.5. Moderate PM2.5 concentrations were reached in a huge area of the Nation. Most of the eastern states experienced moderate levels throughout the day (top left). California also reached moderate levels.On the other hand, fires and smoke events worsened from yesterday (top right). An extremely large area of remnant smoke is stretching from the western Great Lakes through the central and southern Plains state, back into Colorado and New Mexico and then stretches eastward through the lower Mississippi Valley and off the southeast coast. This remnant smoke has many sources. First, the large wildfires in southern and northern New Mexico continue to burn and produce a lot of smoke. These fires in particular have likely led to the area of medium density smoke that can be seen stretching from northern New Mexico into the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandles and then eastward along the Texas/Oklahoma border. The second source are the fires that are burning through central/southern Colorado that are also putting off a lot of smoke and leading to the majority of the remnant area over the center of the country. According to the fires in Colorado, the temperatures soared above 100°F (38 °C) in Denver on June 11, the earliest it has ever reached triple digits. That heat, along with gusty winds and drought-parched forests, came together to produce the Black Forest fire, the most destructive the state has ever seen. By the afternoon of June 13, the fire had destroyed 360 homes and damaged 14 others. The Waldo Canyon fire, Colorado's most destructive prior to the Black Forest fire, destroyed 346 homes.
The Black Forest fire began on June 11 in a densely-wooded area north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. On June 12, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites captured these images of the fire about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northeast of Colorado Springs. The Terra image (bottom left) was collected at 12:05 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, and the Aqua image (bottom right) was collected at 1:40 p.m. MDT. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected the unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires (Courtesy: Earth Observatory)

Posted by Daniel Orozco at June 13, 2013 11:09 PM
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