December 31, 2013

Continued Elevated PM 2.5 in Southwest region. Elevated Sulfates forecasted for eastern US

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 not many fires or elevated smoke plumes that HMS has reported. The next image shows the retrieved AOD image for the day, courtesy GASP EAST. The image shows an increase in AOD in the Southeast and Texas regions, which may be due to an increase in sulfates or cloud contamination.

The next image, courtesy EPA AIRNOW, shows the AQI values the Southwest region. There are continuing elevated PM levels in the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas. Overnight temperature inversions will reduce atmospheric mixing, and light winds will limit pollutant dispersion. These conditions, combined with pollutant carryover from day to day, have yielded Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups particle levels for the region (yesterday and tomorrow as well). The next image, from the GEOS Chem model, shows the forecasted sulfates for the eastern portion of the country.

Posted by John Sullivan at December 31, 2013 1:59 PM
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