August 18, 2014

Wildfire Smoke Pollutes Northern and Eastern US; Dust Pollutes Gulf of Mexico

The wildfires in Western Canada are still active, producing smoke spilling over into the US. The thickest smoke can be seen over British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, leaking over the US border into Montana and the Northern Plains States (NOAA HMS Google Earth, right). Light remnant smoke from these Canadian wildfires covers part of the East Coast, creating spots of Moderate AQIs over most of the region (EPA AirNow PM2.5 loop, left). The still burning wildfires in Northern California are producing much of the same effect; leaking smoke into Idaho and causing unhealthy amounts of PM2.5 to build up around 4:00 PM EST.

Elevated AOD can be seen off the coast of Florida (MODIS Terra, left). This is presumably unrelated to any wildfire smoke, but instead the product of Saharan dust. The EPA AirNow PM2.5 loop above shows Moderate AQIs in Southern Florida supporting this claim. The NAAPS Aerosol model (right) predicts a swath of dust transported over the Atlantic Ocean to hover over most of the Caribbean Islands and parts of Central America, Mexico, and the Gulf. This swarm of Saharan dust is forecasted to move up into Texas and across into Louisiana throughout the course of the week.

Posted by Farrah Daham at August 18, 2014 11:38 PM
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