Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate clumps of fires in the Southeast, the Midwest, the West Coast, and Canada. No significant plumes were seen, but the small grey areas on the HMS indicate some small patches of smoke along the West Coast and Nebraska. There are no large areas of elevated AOD, as seen in the MODIS Terra satellite image (top right).
But the MODIS does show some elevated AODs in western Texas. Taking a look at the webcam from Big Bend National Park (below left), the fires seem to be affecting air quality, with the visibility at 17:15 UTC being 79 miles. The corresponding comparison image (below right) depicts the contrast between good and bad visibility, illustrating how today has had statistically bad visibility.
The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (bottom left) shows Code Yellow and Code Orange AQIs along the West Coast as well as moderate AQIs in small patches across the United States. Most of this is due to PM2.5. The current high is in Central Los Angeles County (85). It is possible the smoke seen on the HMS could have contributed to the increased AQIs, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
Posted by Graham Antoszewski at October 18, 2013 5:31 PM