July 16, 2014

Heavy Smoke over Canada and Pacific Northwest

NOAA's Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product reported heavy to light smoke (top left panel) over Canada and the northern United States.The smoke is the cause for the high AOD values retrieved by NASA's MODIS sensor in Aqua (top right panel). The smoke is from wildfires in northern Canada near Great Slave and Great Bear Lake. Relatively newer wildfires in British Columbia are contributing, as well, light to heavy density smoke to this much broader plume (Aqua MODIS true color/rgb image, middle left panel).

Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are impacting AOD values over this region (middle right panel). Wildfires appearing across Washington state and Oregon are emitting light to heavy density smoke across much of the Pacific Northwest. Light density smoke is seen moving southward across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Moderate smoke is seen in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. Heavy density smoke associated with these wildfires is seen in Washington and Oregon, Heavy density smoke can also be seen descending southward across Montana and Idaho, associated with the wildfires occurring in Canada.

The descending smoke may have impacted the air quality along the Pacific Northwest. Code Yellow to Red (Moderate to Unhealthy) PM2.5 concentrations were reported (Airnow animation below). Idaho experienced in locations near their Idaho CIty and Garden Valley air quality monitoring stations PM2.5 concentrations around 147 and 120 ug/m3, respectively (PM2.5 timeseries courtesy of airnowtech.org).

Posted by Ruben Delgado at July 16, 2014 11:57 PM
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