May 2, 2014

Aerosols over Alaska, generally good AQIs across the US; Cloud Capped Boundary Layer over Baltimore

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the clumps of small red dots indicate masses of currently burning fires over Central America, Oklahoma, and Kansas, with most of these being due to agricultural burning. It also picked up a cloud of aerosols moving across Alaska, and a smaller plume in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. The MODIS Terra (top right) illustrates elevated AODs along the Pacific Coast as well South Dakota.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (bottom left), however, illustrates good AQIs over much of the US, with moderate and sparse USG AQIs seen in California. Ozone seems to be the main culprit for the elevated AQIs in this region, as the current high AQI in Carpinteria, CA (101) is due almost completely to O3. The MODIS AOD trajectory model (bottom right) has elevated AODs form British Colombia and the Pacific Northwest coming across the northern United States this weekend, which could be part of the aerosol cloud seen in Alaska and Canada migrating into the Lower 48 and affecting air quality for the weekend in the region as well.

A homogeneous cloud capped boundary layer was observed in today's lidar observations. The boundary layer extended to heights around 2.5 km. Sun photometer retrievals indicate the presence of coarse particulate aloft.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at May 2, 2014 7:57 PM
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