Bush Fires in Eastern Australia

The NASA Worldview image above shows that there is a large AOD concentration coming off the east coast of Australia. This is due to the many bushfires that are raging along the east coast of Australia. The NSW Rural Fire Service reports that the largest fires are currently contained, but have burned over 180 thousand of acres. The Guardian reports that these fires are often started by lightning strikes.

The NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below shows that the smoke surface concentration created in Eastern Australia reaches above 512 ug/m**3 as shown by the purple blob on the coast of Eastern Australia.

Maria Fire and Tick Fire in California

The  NOAA HMS image above shows that the Maria Fire and Tick Fire in California are releasing light amounts of smoke. The  NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below corroborates this image as the red circle part of the image below matches the areas that these fires are located. This image reports that the surface concentration of the Maria and Tick Fires are helping to create a smoke concentration of 64-256 ug/m**3.

The  National Weather Service image below shows that the Los Angeles region is still under a Red Flag Warning for increase chances of fires starting. The US Fire, Weather, and Avalanche Center reported that the Maria Fire has burned up to 9400 acres of land and the Tick Fire has burned up to 4600 acres. The Tick fire is fully contained while the Maria Fire is only 20 percent contained.

Saddleridge Fire in California and Overall Fire Conditions in California

The AirNow Map image above shows that California had a wide range of PM AQI ranging from areas near Fresno Very Unhealthy(Maroon Color, 201-300 ppb) to most of California being covered by a Moderate level (Yellow, 51-100).  The NOAA HMS image below shows that fires close to the Cascade Range such as the South Fire are releasing high amounts of smoke towards the Pacific Ocean. INCIWEB reports that the South Fire had been started by lightning and has burned over 5300 acres of land.

In southern California, the Saddleridge has been creating massive evacuations in the Los Angeles area.  Newsweek reports that over 40,000 residents near the fire have been ordered to evacuate. NOAA reports that the fire has been hard to control due to high winds in the region fanning the flames and keeping the fire alive. The National Weather Service image below reports a Red Flag Warning(increased chance of fire in the pink,) High Wind Warning, (in brown, Winds up to 70 mph,) and Gale Warning, (in Lavender, winds up to 35 knots). INCIWEB reports that the Saddleridge fire has burned over 8000 acres of land and is 98 percent controlled. The origin of the fire is still being investigated.

Fires in California; Fires in Mexico

The NOAA HMS image above shows that fires that are taking place in California are releasing light to moderate smoke towards the Pacific Ocean. The AirNow Map image below corroborates this data by showing large areas of California had a yellow (Moderate PM AQI, 51-100 ppb)

The Global Fire Watch map above shows that on October 21st the Mexican regions of Tabasco and Chiapas. Together this region had 35 fire alerts on October 21st.  The NOAA HMS image below shows that light smoke has been released from fires in this region is drifting upward towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Taboose Fire in California; Typhoon Hagibis

The AirNow Map image above shows that the Taboose Fire in Inyo California is releasing a Hazardous (301-500 ppb) amount of PM 2.5 particles in the air. INCIWEB reports that this fire has burned over 10 thousand acres and it is only 75 percent contained. It was due to natural causes and is currently only burning natural dry brush and other natural fuels in the area. It poses no immediate danger to residents in the area. The NOAA HMS image above corroborates the idea that a high amount of PM 2.5 particles are being released by the fire and that the particles are drifting eastward towards the Midwest.

The NOAA Environmental Visualization Library has captured a picture of Typhoon Hagibis as it crosses over the Pacific Ocean. The Typhoon is currently considered as a Super-Typhoon as it sustains winds of 150 mph for over a minute. The Typhoon is currently on a path to hit Japan and a few Rugby World Cup matches have been canceled in preparation for the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis. Japan’s Meteorological Agency is expecting areas of Japan to get waves over 13 meters tall with up to up to 39 inches of rain. The NASA Worldview image shows a satellite image of Typhoon Hagibis.

Agricultral Fires in Arkansas Releases High Particulate Matter; High Ozone in Los Angeles

The NOAA HMS image above shows that agricultural fires on farms in Arkansas are releasing heavy amounts of particulate matter into the atmosphere. UALR public radio reports that these fires are often due to farmers who do not have the equipment necessary to remove the straw from older harvests, thus choose to burn their fields to clear their fields for the new harvests. However, this has often lead to respiratory illnesses for the youth and elderly in the area.

The AirNow Map image above shows that on September 6th the Los Angeles area in Californa had a Code Red Ozone level (Unhealthy, 96-115 ppb.) The AirNow Tech graph below reports that there was a max 100 ppb in the area.

Fire In British Columbia Releases Smoke; Hurricane Lorenzo Sucking in Particulate Matter

The NOAA HMS image above shows that smoke originating from fires in British Columbia are drifting south along the West Coast of the United States. The Canadian Fire Hotspots Map below shows that many of the hotspots in Canada are located in British Columbia and close to where the smoke is originating from. The  NRL/Monterey Aerosol below shows that the Smoke Surface concentration reaches a range of 64-128 ug/m**3 in the center of concentration of smoke.

The Copernicus Global image above shows how particulate matter from North Africa is being sucked into Hurricane Lorenzo as it travels across the Atlantic Ocean. In the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below all forms of particulate matter, from dust to smoke and sulfates are curving towards Hurricane Lorenzo. The  NASA Worldview image below shows a satellite image of Hurricane Lorenzo.

Tame Levels of Air Quality in Maryland While Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri Experience Code Yellow

The AirNow Map image above shows the hourly air quality index (AQI) of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri while the AirNow Map image below shows the hourly AQI of Maryland. On September 19th, the collective region of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri show that the combined particulate matter and ozone contribute to Moderate (Code Yellow, Index Values of 51-100) level of AQI. Comparatively, the map of Maryland indicates Good (Code Green, Index Values of 0-50) levels of AQI.

The NOAA STAR Aerosol Watch images above agree with the AirNow images of these respective states. These trajectory forecasts plot aerosol optical depths (AOD) in color contours and air parcel trajectory forecast in magenta to white colors. These animations emphasize the potential vertical movement of high aerosol loads in the troposphere. Darker color trajectories indicate a flow of air towards the surface while white color trajectories indicate an upward movement in the airflow.

Sahara Sand Going towards South America; High Levels of Ozone in Nevada

The AirNow Map image above shows that on September 18th the there was a high concentration of Ozone near Las Vegas Nevada. The AirNow Tech graph below reports that the air quality in Lincoln Nevada reached a Yellow AQI (Moderate, 60-75 ppb).

  

The NRL/Monterey Aerosol images above show that sand from the Sahara has been moving West from the Sahara towards South America.  However, due to Hurricane Humberto, the sand is also being pulled toward the East of the United States.  The  NASA Worldview image below shows a large concentration of sand off the coast of Morroco.

 

On-Campus Work Opportunity

We at the UMBC Atmospheric Lidar Group, Division of Atmospheric Technologies and Analytics (DATA) are inviting applications for two positions in our research group. We are looking to add fellow computer science students who have completed at least CMSC 202 (or have prior experience programming), who know Python, PHP, and/or JavaScript. This opportunity will allow you to assist with the development of a data archive and corresponding web portal for a prototype ceilometer/lidar network testbed. This prototype network will be hosting data from academic institutions and state/local agencies participating in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency Enhanced Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Sites (EPAMS) program.

This is a part-time position (maximum of 20 hours a week) during the Fall and Spring semesters and full-time (maximum of 40 hours a week) during Winter and Summer breaks.

We are looking to add fellow computer science students who have completed at least CMSC 202 (or have prior experience programming), who know Python, PHP, and/or Javascript. If you have any questions or wish to apply for the position, please email us by 10/14/19 at this address: data@umbc.edu.