April 17, 2014

Elevated AODs seen in Central Plains, Great Lakes, and Northwest

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate currently burning fires, and the small grey areas are meant to be smoke plumes. The HMS did not find any plumes of note, however, while MODIS Terra (top right) illustrates elevated AODs in the Central Plains, Great Lakes, and the Northwest near Montana. The fires could attribute to the AODs in the Central Plains and part of the Great Lakes, although the Northwest is not explained by the fires.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (middle left) shows moderate AQIs popping up across the United States, with USG AQIs popping up in Southern California sporadically throughout the day. The NAAPS Aerosol model (middle right) has increased sulfate surface concentrations over much of the East, with some of the higher values in the Great Lakes, which could be affecting the AOD in the region.

Yet the Northwest, namely around Montana, there were good AQIs, low sulfates, and no active fires. Looking in the region, the photo on the bottom left is from Grand Teton National Park at 6:00 PM MDT, with a visual range of 197 miles. The clear/hazy comparison to the bottom right has an example of a "good" visual range of 147 miles from the same webcam, so it really seems as though the air quality in this region is not as severe the MODIS Terra satellite image describes.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at April 17, 2014 8:35 PM
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