August 27, 2013

Rim Fire (Near Yosemite) continues to burn, causing many code reds in CA and NV.

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 large plumes and a high concentration of fires in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions. The Rim fire, near Yosemite, has been emitting large smoke plumes throughout the week. These plumes are mostly stretching eastward. The second image below, courtesy of GASP EAST, shows the retrieved AOD 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. Specifically, the large concentration of smoke from the Rim fire increasing AOD in the Pacific Northwest as well as various fires is central Idaho.

The first images, courtesy EPA AIRNOW, show the Pacific Northwest/Rocky Mtn AQI animation for the highest actual AQI for the country which is in Reno-Sparks, NV (189), Auburn, CA (157), and Roseville-Rocklin, CA (157). These increases are mainly due to the Rim fire. The Auburn site is near the American wildfire, which is probably the major source for the code red there. The transport winds appear to be moving more south to southeasterly following the foothills, which may help decrease the impact of these plumes to Nevada (California Smoke Information). The next image, courtesy CALIPSO, shows the 532 nm total attenuated backscatter, which is correlated with the vertical distribution of the smoke plumes. The smoke plumes are 2 km thick in some regions, Reno is roughly (Lat 40, Lon -119). This is cause for serious air quality issues in the remaining days as these layers subside to the surface.

Posted by John Sullivan at August 27, 2013 6:15 PM
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