Wildfire Smoke Detected in Majority of U.S. States

At a Glance

  • Western wildfires are sending their smoke plumes across much of the United States.
  • This is causing unhealthy air quality in parts of the West, as well as unworldly sunrises and sunsets.

Dozens of wildfires are burning across the western United States, including at least 18 major fires in California alone, sending plumes of smoke across much of the country.

“Large wildfires from central and Northern California into northern British Columbia continue to burn and emit thick smoke, contributing to an expansive area of varying density smoke reaching from the Pacific coast eastward as far as Lake Superior and Hudson Bay and from the southwestern Northwest Territory to Guadalupe Island 150 miles offshore of Baja California,” NOAA wrote in a discussion Monday.

image
Each flame on the map represents an active large wildfire burning in the western United States as of Aug. 7, 2018.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center ran a computer-model simulation showing the aerosol index in the atmosphere from last Friday through Monday.

The various shades of teal and yellow in the maps below indicate higher levels of aerosols – smoke, in this case – in the atmosphere over a particular location.

image
The various shades of teal and yellow indicate higher levels of aerosols – in this case, smoke – in the atmosphere over a particular location from Aug. 3-6, 2018. Yellow shadings show where aerosol concentrations are the highest.

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

The maps show that smoke was observed as far east as the southeastern U.S. coast and even parts of upstate New York and northern New England, though the highest concentrations of smoke were in Northern California, the Great Basin and portions of the northern Rockies.

Satellite imagery showed a large swath of California blanketed with smoke Tuesday, which also led to air quality concerns in many areas.

The NWS has issued air quality alerts for portions of the West until further notice because of the ongoing wildfires in the region.

The simulation in the tweet below from the NWS office in Boise, Idaho, illustrates the total amount of smoke forecast to be in the atmosphere across the West through midday Wednesday.

Brian Donegan is a meteorologist at weather.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

2018-11-04T10:13:42+00:00August 7th, 2018|0 Comments

Leave A Comment