December 13, 2013

Moderate to Unhealthy AQI levels in Northern California and Oregon

Today, HMS reported moderate AQI levels in the Mid- Atlantic and Great Lakes region. Moreover, levels went from Moderate to Unhealthy in Northern California and Oregon during the day ((top left). OMI tropospheric product reported high NO2 levels in different regions across the country. In particular, the Great Lakes region, and part of the Plain States reached the high NO2 concentrations (top right). As for fires, HMS detected several fires over different states but no significant smoke was observed out of those fires (bottom).

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: Smog Shrouds Eastern China

China suffered another severe bout of air pollution in December 2013. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite acquired this image on December 7, 2013, thick haze stretched from Beijing to Shanghai, a distance of about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles). For comparison, that is about the distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The brightest areas are clouds or fog. Polluted air appears gray. While northeastern China often faces outbreaks of extreme smog, it is less common for pollution to spread so far south.
"The fog has a smooth surface on the top, which distinguishes it from mid- and high-level clouds that are more textured and have distinct shadows on their edge," explained Rudolf Husar, director of the Center for Air Pollution Impact and Trend Analysis at Washington University. "If there is a significant haze layer on top of the fog, it appears brownish. In this case, most of the fog over eastern China is free of elevated haze, and most of the pollution is trapped in the shallow winter boundary layer of a few hundred meters."

Posted by Daniel Orozco at December 13, 2013 10:46 PM
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