July 21, 2014

Wildfire Smoke continues to be an Air Quality Issue for North America

The NW Territories Wildfires continue to produce light to heavy smoke, leaking into much of the central US (NOAA HMS Google Earth image, left). Below (right) is a cool photograph taken of the Birch Creek Wildfire last Monday from a bird's eye point of view (courtesy of NWTFire), even though the situation is obviously anything but. Wildfires in Washington State are also producing light to moderate smoke, spreading north into British Columbia and west into the Pacific Ocean. There are no fires in Alaska, however, light to moderate smoke plagues much of the state, presumably transported from the Lake Baikal fires in NE Asia.

The smoke swirling over most of the US has increased PM2.5 AQIs nationwide (EPA AirNow PM2.5 loop, left). Most of the central US as well as some parts of the East and West Coasts were subject to Moderate AQIs today. Levels reached Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) to Unhealthy on the border of North Dakota and Manitoba, an area covered in smoke and also presumably affected by dust. The NAAPS Aerosol Model (right) predicts the dust surface concentration to reach between 2.58 and 5.12 mg/m^3 over this area.

Posted by Farrah Daham at July 21, 2014 10:06 PM
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