January 17, 2014

Colby fire in CA leads to elevated AQIs

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate clumps of fires spanning from Florida to Texas. The wildfire of note, however, is the Colby fire, located east of Los Angeles and fueled by the drought conditions that cover much of the West. The Colby fire has created the smoke plume off of the coast of southern California, while the plume in the Atlantic Ocean is a result of remnant smoke from the fires in the Southeast. In addition, agricultural burning in the Gulf Coast has led to dust blowing across the region. The MODIS Terra AOD animation shows elevated AODs in Texas corresponding to this dust as well as high AOD in the Pacific Ocean in the area of the Colby plume.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (bottom left) details moderate AQIs in the West and Northeast. Some unhealthy AQIs were also seen around the Colby fire and near the California-Oregon border throughout the day. The OMI NRT tropospheric NO2 column (bottom right) sees high concentrations of NO2 in the Northeast and the California coast that is contributing to the moderate AQIs. And with the Colby fire only 30% contained, some of the migrating smoke may affect air quality in the southern California area this weekend.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at January 17, 2014 7:48 PM
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