Agricultural Fires Taking Place in Central Africa

Agricultural fires taking place in Central Africa is leading to large amounts of smoke being released into the atmosphere. The Nasa Worldview image above shows the smoke coming from the fires lit all over Central Africa (Figure 1). Due to so many fires being lit at the same time these fires are releasing a high amount of smoke particles as shown by the NRL/Monterey Aerosol image below which shows a smoke concentration of more than 250 ug/m^3 (Figure 2).

The Global Forest Watch Fire image below shows the multitude of fires that are all taking place at the same time, which due to all being at the same time shows up on a global scale (Figure 3). In an article by the European Space Agency on February 4th, 2019, they reported that these fires, “contribute 25–35% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.”

Amazon Fire Leading to Extreme Levels of PM in Air; Sheridan Fire Being Used for Good

The NRL/Monterey Aerosol image above shows that a massive fire in the Amazon Rainforest is leading to an extreme level of Smoke Concentration levels in South America. The smoke concentration in South America exceeds 512 ug /m^3 (Figure 1).

The Nasa Worldview image above shows the smoke coming from the fire, it looks much paler and grey than the clouds and smoke around it (Figure 2). Below the high AOD concentration matches the same places that the smoke are coming from (Figure 3). 

The HMS image below shows the Sheridan Fire that is taking place in Prescott National Forest in Arizona on August 21st (Figure 4). The fire had been started by lightning, but INCIWEB reports that the fire is being used to, “to reduce fuels and improve resource conditions in the area.”

Sahara Sand almost Halfway Across Atlantic Ocean; Sulfate Concentration Increasing on the Eastern US

The Nasa Worldview image above shows sand and dust have been detected going over the Atlantic Ocean from the Sahara Desert (Figure 1). The sand is almost halfway across the Atlantic Ocean on August 20th (Figure 1) as compared to August 19th (Figure 2).

The HMS image above shows that the AOD concentration in the Eastern United States is at a higher level (0.4 to 1.0 ppm) than usual (0.0 to 0.4 ppm) (Figure 3). This may be caused due to a high sulfate sulfur concentration in the Eastern United States as shown in by the NRL/Monterey Aerosol Page (Figure 4).

Swan Lake Fire in Alaska; Unhealthy PM 2.5 Levels in Anchorage

The HMS image above shows smoke that was released from the Swan Lake Fire (Figure 1).  INCIWEB reports that the fire will be contained by Saturday, August 31st. The fire had been started by lightning in a remote area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness. Most highways in the region have been reopened. In good news, the fire has been reported to have some ecological benefits for the region as unhealthier trees have been burned down and younger plants have started to sprout.

The AirNow Tech graph above shows that the PM 2.5 levels in Anchorage reached into the 108-130 ppm range (Figure 2).  This constitutes a Code Red (Unhealthy) level of PM 2.5 in the area (Figure 2).

Smoke from Canada blown Westward; Houston Texas had Unhealthy Ozone Levels

The HMS image above shows that smoke from Canada has been blown westward from the Alberta/British Columbia provinces to the Pacific Ocean (Figure 1). The areas of moderate smoke in Alberta coincide with the fire hotspots provided by Natural Resources Canada (Figure 2).

The AirNow map shows Code Red (Unhealthy) ozone levels in Houston Texas (Figure 3). An ozone air quality monitor in Deer Park Houston shows 8-hr ozone averages rising into the 100-107 ppb range. This AirNow-Tech data corresponds to the Code Red AQI (Figure 4).


Code Orange Ozone East of Phoenix; Smoke in Alberta Decreases

The AirNow map shows Code Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) levels of ozone east of Phoenix (Figure 1).  An ozone air quality monitor east of Phoenix in Gila County shows 8-hr ozone averages rising into the 71-85 ppb range.  This AirNow-Tech data corresponds to the Code Orange AQI (Figure 2).

The HMS image below shows decreased concentrations of smoke in Alberta on Aug 14 (Figure 3) compared to Aug  13 (Figure 4).

This coincides with the decrease in fire hotspots from Aug 13 (Figure 5) to Aug 14 (Figure 6).  FireM3 Hotspots data is provided by the governmental organization Natural Resources Canada.


Unhealthy Ozone Levels East of Los Angeles; Heavy Smoke in Alberta

This map from AirNow shows Unhealthy levels of ozone east of Los Angeles near San Bernadino and Riverside County (Figure 1).  The lower limit for the Unhealthy ozone levels is 85 ppb for the 8-hr avg.  Ground level ozone detectors in both of these counties show spikes in ozone levels above this lower limit (Figures 2 and 3).  The graphs are obtained from AirNow-Tech.  Figure 2 shows detectors in Riverside County and Figure 3 shows detectors in San Bernadino County.

The HMS map shows heavy smoke in the northern half of Alberta with data recovered from the GOES-East Satellite.  Natural Resources Canada shows 7 fire hot spots all across Alberta, several of which are in the northern half.

Low Smoke Across the CONUS; Light Smoke Across Alaska/Northern Canada; Heavy Smoke is Southeastern Alaska.

NOAA’s HMS shows no significant smoke over the contiguous United States.  This is a positive development compared to the previous week.  Light smoke is seen all across Alaska and the northern half of Canada stopping at Quebec (Figure 1).

A close up shows areas of heavy smoke in southeastern Alaska (Figure 2).  Alaska Wildland Fire Information reports several fires in the regions that correspond to those shown on the HMS map.  The heavy smoke on the left is south of Anchorage near the Swan Lake, Quill and Upper Trail Lake fires.  The heavy smoke on the right is west of Glenallen near the three Tokaina Creek fires.