September 21, 2017

Low ozone across nation, PM 2.5 spreads in Pacific Southwest

Air quality today was mostly good across the nation; however, there was Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) seen in the Pacific Southwest region (AirNow, top left). There was also some widespread Code Yellow (Moderate) PM 2.5 seen in the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. This area did experience some smoke aloft, as suggested in NOAA's HMS map, from satellite retrievals. Despite a large amount of cloud coverage in this region, some of the smoke could be seen mixed in with clouds in NASA's MODIS Terra images, bottom left.

Ozone levels were very low today, with only very small levels of Ozone being seen in the Pacific Southwest and the Southeast, as shown in NOAA's ozone map, bottom right. These low levels of ozone will most likely continue as the autumn season beings, bringing lower temperatures, and with it, lower levels of ozone production. The UMBC MPL timeseries show stratified aerosol/particle pollution over Baltimore. AS suggested above the stratified signal might have been caused by smoke aloft.

Posted by mglover at September 21, 2017 9:43 PM
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