June 13, 2014

Great Slave Lake plume spans into Continental United States; Aerosols in Texas lead to elevated AOD

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the small red dots indicate groups of fires, while the light grey areas are smoke plumes. The Great Slave Lake fire is most likely responsible for the plume in the Northwest Territories moving into Alberta as well as the plume spanning from Minnesota to Illinois. The thin plume in Nevada and Utah is from smaller wildfires in this region, while a big mass of aerosols was seen in Texas. This is most likely a mixture of the blowing dust and remnant smoke, and the MODIS Aqua image (top right) illustrates elevated AODs corresponding to these aerosols, particularly near the Texas-Mexico border.

The webcam photo to the left is from Big Bend National Park, TX at 5:45 CDT. The visual range is unavailable, but comparing to the clear-hazy example (middle right), visibility has been severely limited as a result of the aforementioned aerosols.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI animation below also shows moderate AQIs over southern Texas and southern California, and even short time periods of USG AQIs. The current high AQI is in Dallas-Forth Worth, TX (90). The Great Slave Lake fire, however, seems to not be significantly increasing AQIs surrounding the plume over the US. The aerosols in Texas appear to be affecting AOD more so than AQI, but it is certainly decreasing the overall air quality for the state.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at June 13, 2014 7:28 PM
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