Air quality was problematic again today for communities in Pacific North and Southwest, particularly in southern California (top left). The worst conditions, Code Red "Unhealthy" PM2.5 levels, were reported throughout the San Joaquin Valley. As Ray mentioned in this past weekend's post, the Governor of California as declared a drought emergency as extreme drought conditions impact over 13% of the state and over 80% experiencing abnormally dry conditions (top right and middle left, courtesy USA Regional Drought Monitor). In terms of wildfires, the majority of the activity is concentrated along the Eastern sea board, throughout the Southeast states. Today's MODIS imagery taken from the Terra satellite overlaid with HMS fire location illustrates the widespread ag fire activity, however with little indication of raised aerosol optical depth (bottom right). And wild weather is back in the headlines today as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast gears up for another frigid Arctic airmass to settle in, but not before a powerful Winter Storm Janus potentially dumps significant snow on millions (bottom,courtesy The Weather Channel).