August 11, 2014

Elevated AOD Levels in the NE and Pacific NW from Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from the still burning Canadian wildfires continues to spill into the US (NOAA HMS Google Earth, top left). A heavy swarm of smoke is visible over the wildfire complexes, confined to the NW Territories. Another swarm of light smoke can be seen over the Northern Plains States, possibly remnant smoke from the wildfires in the NW Territories caught in a pocket of high pressure (NOAA Weather Map, top right). A third plume of light smoke is visible hovering over the Northeastern US and much of Eastern Canada, also presumably remnant smoke from the NW Territories wildfires. Moderate AQIs cover most of the Eastern US, possibly also due to the presence of sulfates on the coast. The NAAPS Aerosol Model (bottom left) predicts the sulfate surface concentration to reach 16 ug/m^3 over the Great Lakes, Mississippi Valley, and Southeastern States.

The plentiful wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are taking a toll on air quality throughout the region, extending medium to thick smoke from the area, with the densest smoke confined to Northern Washington State. The smoke is visible on the NASA Worldview image above (bottom right) over most of the state. USG and Unhealthy AQIs are visible only over the Pacific Northwest, definitely from smoke coming from the wildfires. It is expected that stormy weather conditions bringing in cooler temperatures these next few days will keep an overall Good air quality throughout the area.

Posted by Farrah Daham at August 11, 2014 11:59 PM
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