February 1, 2014

Weekend Edition: Amy nails the forecast

Congratulations to our emeritus blogger, Amy Huff, on nailing the forecast this weekend. For those who don't know, the air quality forecasts in each region are done by real people who use sources of information from models, measurements and weather to predict the air quality in each of the nine EPA regions. Amy is responsible for the forecast in Region 2 in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Here is what she said for this weekend:

"Saturday will be an Air Quality Action Day for the Philadelphia metropolitan region. Southwesterly flow aloft will continue to pump warmer and more humid air into the region, and rising atmospheric humidity will favor particle formation. Warm air arriving aloft with snow cover at the surface will create a strong surface inversion which will trap pollutants. Stagnation overnight and through the morning, along with a shallow boundary layer in the afternoon, will help to inhibit mixing. All these factors, combined with carry-over of pollution from Friday, will push particle concentrations into the Code Orange range."

On left panel below, you can see the result of the AIRNOW PM2.5 readings today showing a code orange (as predicted) in Pennsylvania and on the right below (click to expand) is the AIRNOWTech PM readings by station. Elevated PM was seen throughout Pennsylvania.

In Indonesia, Mt. Sinabung exploded today causing Nuée Ardentés (ash avalanches). These people are much too close as those ash clouds are probably over 500ºC. 14 people were killed today.

Credit: BBC News Asia (left) and CBC News (right)

Update: February 2, 2014 23:10
The poor air quality continues again today in Pennsylvania and the AIRNOW loop shows code orange in middle PA. The PM concentrations are shown on the right and while they cleared somewhat in the early morning on Sunday, the concentrations continued to grow throughout the day.

And not to quibble with wildlife, the image below shows that there was almost no clear air in Pennsylvania today. So what shadow did Punxsutawney Phil see today that he predicts six more weeks of winter?

Posted by Ray Hoff at February 1, 2014 8:51 PM
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