August 1, 2014

Northwest Territories wildfires persist; Carlton Complex fire in Washington leads to Unhealthy AQIs

Looking at the NOAA HMS Smoke and Fire Product (top left), the clumps of small red dots indicate masses of currently burning fires, with smoke plumes being indicated by the grey patches. The Northwest Territories wildfires have created smoke ranging from light to heavy density from western Canada to the northeast United States. The MODIS Terra image (top right) illustrates highly elevated AODs in the Great Lakes region because of this smoke. In addition, the HMS picked up two plumes of Asian smoke that have migrated into the Yukon. Furthermore, one in the Pacific Northwest was seen as a result of wildfires in this region, particularly the Carlton Complex fire, which has burnt 252,761 acres so far in Washington.

The EPA AIRNow combined AQI loop (bottom left) shows moderate AQIs for much of the eastern half of the continental US. One spot of Unhealthy AQIs is located in the area of the aforementioned Carlton Complex fire, as the current high AQI is in Leavenworth, WA (152). For the moderate AQIs in the East not explained by smoke, the main component was PM2.5, and the NAAPS Sulfate Model (bottom right) predicts elevated sulfate levels at 1800 UTC that could help explain the diminished air quality.

Posted by Graham Antoszewski at August 1, 2014 5:01 PM
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