June 5, 2014

AQIs Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in California as Smoke over Canada Shrinks

EPA AirNow imagery, below right, shows a large swath of Moderate AQIs over the Pacific Southwest. with an area of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups around southern California. There are other patches of Moderate AQI scattered through the country, which are somewhat more common in the Southeast and southern Mid-Atlantic. OMI tropospheric NO2 shows elevated NO2 in southern California, the southeast, and the mid-Atlantic, which may be related.
Other possible causes are indicated in the images below. On the left is the NWS dust analysis, showing stretches of dust in the Pacific Southwest and the southern Plains, which might help explain the air quality in those regions. On the left is output from the NAAPS model from the NRL, showing a large area of Sulfates off the Atlantic coast and another in the Central Plains, which could also contribute to air quality issues in these areas.
The smoke over Canada and the Great Lakes seems to be dissipating, as the extent covered by smoke heavy enough to be included in the HMS plot below left shrinks, and there does not appear to be any strong indication of the smoke in the AOD (MODIS Aqua AOD imagery is shown below right).
Posted by Daniel Orozco at June 5, 2014 11:02 PM
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