July 14, 2014

Fire and Smoke in California and Northern Canada; Sulfates on the East Coast

Light to moderate smoke from wildfires in the NW Territories continues to spill into most of the Central US (Google Earth HMS image, top left). The smoke plumes are spreading as far west as British Columbia and south as Kansas. Remnant smoke from these wildfires is caught in a high pressure system over the Plains States and Great Lakes Region, enveloped in a nationwide low pressure system (NOAA Weather map, top right), which supports Moderate AQIs observed in today's EPA AirNow combined ozone and PM2.5 loop (bottom left). The small plume of smoke over central Texas is presumably distanced remnant smoke, also from the Canadian wildfires. Smoke can be seen originating from the Bully Fire--4,700 acres large with 15% contained--in Northern California. There are also Moderate to USG AQIs noted in Southern California, downwind from the Nicolls Fire--1,678 acres large with 60% contained (inciweb.nwcg.gov).

The EPA AirNow combined loop above shows stubborn Moderate AQIs in much of the Eastern US, which is mostly PM2.5 since ozone is not a major factor in today's AQI forecast. Sulfates, on the other hand, are moderately plaguing the NE US, as predicted in the NAAPS Aerosol Model above (bottom right). Sulfate surface concentration reached 8 ug/m^3 over Pennsylvania and a little off the coast of New Jersey as of 13:00 EST. A dust cloud--presumably Saharan Dust--seems to be heading our way, predicted to partially dissolve in the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the US coast over the next couple of days.

Posted by Farrah Daham at July 14, 2014 8:33 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?