April 7, 2014

Code Red AQI in New Jersey; Elevated AOD across Gulf

Widespread Code Yellow (Moderate) AQIs were reported in the Great Lakes, Plains States, Pacific Northwest and Southeast states today (top left).However the worst air quality conditions were observed throughout New England, peaking at Code Red in New Jersey (top right). Expansive cloud cover made it difficult to observe possible elevated aerosol optical depth in these regions. The cluster of fires in the Plain States could be contributing to the elevated AQIs there. The HMS analysis team also continued to report an expansive plume of smoke stretching from Nicaragua through the Yucaton Peninsula and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. A few fires and small smoke plumes were reported near the Straits of Florida, the Bahamas, Miami Dade and Lake Okeechobee in Southern Florida (bottom left). The MODIS overpass onboard the Terra satellite detected elevated aerosol optical depth across the southern Gulf and southern Florida (bottom right).

Posted by Alexandra St Pe at April 7, 2014 11:08 PM
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The unusually high PM2.5 concentrations in NJ and NYC on Monday were due to smoke from a wildfire in the Wharton State Forest of NJ, located between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. The fire began on Sunday afternoon, and smoke spread as far north as NYC. Rain from a low pressure system arriving from the south began falling on Monday afternoon, which helped to clean out the atmosphere and put out the fire. The fire burned approximately 1600 acres of the forest before it was controlled on Monday. In the Philadelphia metropolitan region, smoke from the fire pushed daily average PM2.5 concentrations on Monday into the Code Yellow (Moderate) range from an expected forecast of Code Green (Good)in the northern and eastern suburbs.

Posted by: Amy Huff at April 9, 2014 11:13 AM
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