May 7, 2014

Widespread Code Yellow AQI across Central and Eastern United States

PM 2.5 condition reached Code Yellow (Moderate) today across large areas of the Plain States, Great Lakes, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic (top left). By early afternoon PM2.5 levels peaked in the Code Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) range along the New Mexico/Texas border. According to the HMS analysis team the only areas of blowing dust/sand observed today was across the Texas panhandle into western/central Oklahoma.
The team also reported several plumes of smoke emanating from fires in the Southeast, which could be contributing to elevated PM2.5 in those locations (top right). Due to sporadic cloud cover in this region, it is difficult to distinguish clouds from smoke in today's LANCE Rapid Response MODIS overpass (red dots indicate fires) (bottom left). Aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrievals from MODIS (Terra satellite) suggest slightly elevated readings in areas devoid of clouds (bottom right). The high AOD readings in Virgina/West Virginia/ Ohio are likely data contamination along peripheral of clouds.

Posted by Alexandra St Pe at May 7, 2014 11:17 PM
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