If you expected that the Rim Fire in California has stopped impacting air quality in the West, I have to disappoint you. But there is more going on in the country than that huge fire. Below I've put loops of aerosols which do draw your eyes to the Yosemite fire, but on the right, there are a few hours this afternoon where ozone has reached the code orange levels in Texas. That is interesting because I am driving to Houston for the DISCOVER-AQ experiment that starts there on Tuesday. There are a number of air quality measurements which will focus on ozone and other trace gases. NASA will be flying a P3-B aircraft and a UC-12 aircraft over the city. There are two other aircraft in the mission as well as mobile ground sites and fixed ground sites. I'll be blogging about DISCOVER-AQ over the next four weeks.
Two stations in the Sierra foothills are code orange at about 6:00pm Pacific Time. The images below show the smoke from the Rim fire left and remnant smoke moving over Idaho. As was noted last week, while the Rim Fire is adding to the burden of smoke in the middle of the country, there are local fires in Idaho which are adding to the burden.
Update: September 1,2013 18:00 CST
The tag is correct, since I am catching up on today from Laurel, Mississippi. Don't ask me where that is after driving 1100 miles in the last two days and only 2/3 of the way to Houston. This is a big country.
When you think it is bad, the Rim Fire just gets worse. Today's AQI shows colors that I cannot even recognize but I suspect they must be hazardous. The MODIS image this morning lost Lake Tahoe entirely. Between the low cloud and smoke, only a footprint of the Tahoe basin is visible. In the AIRNOWTech plot below, I tried to get all possible El Dorado County stations (none are reporting) and they would not be on the same page as Yosemite. The concentrations there of PM2.5 are 1050 µg m-3. WOW! Even China cannot compete with that. I hope those people who went to Yosemite this weekend are wearing respirators. That is clearly unhealthy.
This afternoon at 1-2 pm, Reno and Sparks Nevada hit 90 µg m-3.
As I drove down through Tennessee, when it wasn't raining like "Sharknado" there was a persistent haze. More than the "Blue Ridge" haze. There are fires in Arkansas (left) and right, you can see the haze that I drove through in Northern Alabama.
GASP's AOD loop is again impressive today. We will know more about that haze through Texas when DISCOVER-AQ gets going fully on Tuesday.