June 6, 2014

USG AQIs in Southwest, sulfates to the East

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate currently burning fires, while the light grey areas are smoke plumes. The only significant plume was seen in Alaska, where aerosols have stagnated as a result of a large low pressure system in the area. These could be mixing with the smoke from the still-burning Funny River fire. In Texas and the Southwest, however, the MODIS Aqua satellite image (top right) illustrates elevated AODs where the HMS did not pick up any smoke.

To try to explain this, the NRL NAAPS Aerosol Model for 18 UTC did predict increased dust surface concentration in this region (middle left), which if true could help explain the AODs. This did not seem to be affecting AQIs though, as seen in the EPA AIRNow combined AQI animation (middle right). There were moderate AQIs smattered across the United States today, with USG AQIs predominantly in the Southwest and southern California. The current high AQI is in Phoenix, AZ (109).

The NAAPS model also provides a hint at potential reasons behind the AQIs for much of the East, as increased sulfate levels were expected in this area (bottom image). Yet overall, air quality is fair over the continental United States.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at June 6, 2014 7:00 PM

We are covered in African dust storm here is south Texas....seems to happen every summer now.

Posted by: ellen at June 7, 2014 7:11 AM
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