Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Smoke from Russian Fires

A somewhat smoky/dusty sunrise of the Salt Lake Valley this morning
Several days ago, wildfires set by Russian farmers in preparation of spring planting raged out of control, killing 23 and leaving more than 5,000 homeless.  It was a terrible catastrophe.

Smoke from these fires, along with perhaps some Asian dust, has since spread across the Pacific.

Source: NASA
And is currently draped across portions of the western U.S.  Below is an image from MODIS from yesterday.  The smoke is easiest to see against the dark background of Pacific Northwest fires west of the Cascade Crest.  

Here's an image showing the estimated aerosol optical depth.   Warmer colors indicate higher aerosol concentrations.  

Evidence of the smoke can also be seen in air quality observations, which show a gradual upward trend in PM2.5 over the past two days.

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