February 4, 2014

Unhealthy AQIs at the North Pole

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate a smattering of fires across the continental United States, although no notable plumes were seen. Much of the US was covered in clouds today, making satellite imagery difficult to obtain. The MODIS aerosol trajectory forecast (top right) does show a patch of elevated AODs following the wake of winter storm Nika over the next two days in the East.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (bottom left), however, details an interesting development in Alaska. While we did see moderate and USG AQIs in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions, North Pole and Fairbanks, AK are seeing the highest current AQIs at 170 and 151, respectively. The bottom right EPA AIRNow animation looks at these sites, and the poor air quality has been persisting for the past several days, as mentioned by John yesterday. While the motivation behind these values is unclear at the moment, the heavy cloud cover within the area could be trapping the main culprit of the Code Reds, PM2.5, around the region.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at February 4, 2014 6:40 PM
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