February 7, 2014

Clouds again, but poor air quality in the Rockies

While only sparse fires were seen on the HMS and cloud cover hindered the MODIS Terra AOD image, we did see moderate AQIs in the EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (top left) as well as some other elevated values in Colorado. The OMI NRT tropospheric NO2 satellite figure (top right) shows increased NO2 in some of these areas including the Northeast and Southeast, but clouds seem to be prohibiting any data from Boulder, CO, which currently has the highest AQI in the nation (163).

To try to get perspective on this area, the bottom left webcam photon is from Grand Canyon National Park as of 6:00 EST. Earlier in the day, the visual range was only 88 miles, which compared to the clear/hazy illustration (bottom right) implies that the Rocky Mountain region is seeing poorer air quality. Moist air from the Pacific crossed the United States and brought heavy amounts of snow to the colder portions of the area, which could be trapping and attributing for the elevated PM2.5 that has been seen. Ozone has not been much of a factor today.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at February 7, 2014 6:21 PM
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