April 24, 2017

Moderate to Heavy Ozone

Light start to the day but as we progressed to noon and onwards, we observed moderate to heavy concentrations of Ozone throughout the nation (Top left, AirNow). Much of the Ozone was concentrated in the plain states and reached as far Southern California to parts of New England. For the past 2 weeks, there have been a lot of agricultural fires in the plain states region and potential remnant smoke may have been the cause of the increase in Ozone, as seen in the biomass burning image provided by Copernicus (top right). In the HMS image below (bottom) we see fires along the border of Georgia and Florida producing light to moderate smoke moving Northeast towards the Mid-Atlantic Region.

April 20, 2017

Light smoke in the Mississippi Valley

Air quality was mostly good today across the nation, with only Code Yellow (Moderate) levels of PM 2.5 appearing in the Pacific Southwest, the Mississippi Valley, and the border between the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast (AirNow, top left). The PM 2.5 in the Mississippi Valley was most likely due to smoke seen in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. The smoke was very light density, so it could not be seen in NASA's MODIS Terra satellite images, bottom left, especially due to a large amount of cloud coverage in the region.

April 19, 2017

Good Air Quality in most of the USA

Today saw very good AQI with levels generally in the good to moderate range as viewed by AirNow (top left). Although there was good AQI, the Dobson Knob fire in North Carolina produced smoke which did not contribute to a rise in PM. The smoke plume generated was overshadowed by the heavy amounts of cloud coverage in the region (Modis Aqua, top right). Ozone levels in Arizona were seen to rise to code orange (unhealthy for sensitve groups), which could be attributed to the increasing temperature in the area (AirNow, bottom left).

April 18, 2017

Good Air Quality Day

Today was an overall good day. There is not much to report. A couple of small plumes of remnant smoke extended out into the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Panhandle. A small area of smoke remains over eastern Kansas where the seasonal burnings have been going on. Also a small cluster of light density smoke plumes can be seen over southeastern Pennsylvania, these are likely due to local seasonal fires as well (NOAA HMS image, left). The air quality today was very good throughout most of the nation, as can be seen in the AQI animation on the right. There are, however, a few areas that experienced moderate, code yellow, air quality for a short period of time; this was likely due to local pollution and Ozone production, which is enhanced due to the warmer climate.

April 13, 2017

Sulfate in California causes Unhelthy levels of PM 2.5

PM 2.5 levels in the Great Lakes Region, the Mississippi Valley, and the Plains States reached Code Orange (Unsafe for Sensitive Groups) and Code Yellow (Moderate) levels (AirNow, top left). This was most likely due to smoke seen in this area, as seen in NOAA's HMS map, top right. There were also up to Code Purple (Very Unhealthy) levels seen in California and Nevada. This area did not have smoke coverage, and there were not many fires in this area. However, there was a lot of sulfate seen around here, as seen in NRL's sulfate map, bottom left. This most likely contributed to the elevated levels of PM 2.5.

April 12, 2017

Smoke in Gulf of Mexico, Fires in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and West Virginia

NOAA satellite imaged remant thin density smoke which was seen throughout the Gulf of Mexico (top left). This smoke stretched from Cuba towards Louisiana and it is a result of wildfires and agricultural burns in Mexico. Active wildfires in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Florida have burned significant amounts of area and produced smoke which was visible through the Modis Aqua Satellite (top right). The prescribed fires of West Virginia and Colorado were used to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health. AQI around the country was not ideal because they was code red (unhealthy) in Nebraskaand Oklahoma, code purple (very unhealthy) in Nebraska and California, and moderate levels in the rest of the states (AirNow, bottom left).

April 11, 2017

Smoke in Kansas

A large plume of smoke over eastern Kansas and bordering states can be seen in the NOAA HMS image on the top left. This smoke is being produced by the large number seasonal burnings in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. It ranges from light smoke in the surrounding areas to moderately dense smoke in the point of origin. Also, a large number small plumes of light smoke can be seen surrounding eastern Kansas; these are either small patches detached from the larger plume, or the are being produced by more seasonal fired in the region. A good amount of small plumes of light smoke can be seen throughout the eastern states of the Nation. These are most likely due to small local fires, most of which could be agricultural burns. The NOAA VIIRS image on the top right, shows the AOD levels in the Kansas region affected by the smoke. The cluster of color among the blue background shows the density of the smoke in the area. The air quality in that region is only a code yellow, or moderate in spite of the large quantities of smoke bring produced (AirNow PM image, bottom left). The poor air quality in the Southeast, and the Pacific Southwest is likely due to to local pollution and Ozone which is now affecting several areas around the nation thanks to the rising temperatures and low winds.