August 3, 2017

Smoke continues to increase in northwest

Air quality today was very bad, specifically in the northwestern part of the nation. PM 2.5 levels reached up to Code Purple(Very Unhealthy) levels in Montana, Washington, and Oregon (AirNow, top left). There was also a good amount of Code Red and Orange (Unhealthy and Unsafe for Sensitive Groups, respectively) in these areas. The elevated PM 2.5 was definitely caused by smoke from wildfires in this area. The smoke came from wildfires in Montana and Washington, with Montana having more than ten active wildfires and Oregon having about two. The smoke coverage in this area can be clearly seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The biggest wildfire in Montana right now is the Lolo Peak fire, which currently spans over 17,000 acres and counting (InciWeb). The smoke in the northwest was captured in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left. Ozone levels, however, were very low today, with barely any Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of ozone showing up in some parts of the nation.

Posted by mglover at August 3, 2017 10:09 PM
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