Elevated particle pollution in the Southeast US

March 29th, 2007 |

IDEA MODIS AOD image

An IDEA MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) image (above) depicted elevated AOD values of 0.6 to 0.8 over parts of the Southeast US (especially the northern half of Georgia) on 29 March 2007. Smoke from recent fire activity was likely the main contributor, but some of the elevated AOD signal may also have been due to very high pollen counts in that region — pine tree pollen has been unusually high this Spring season due to abnormally dry conditions that have plagued much of the southeastern US. In addition, light winds and increasing boundary layer moisture were helping to create an environment favorable for particle pollution growth — GOES sounder total precipitable water values of 25-35 mm were becoming more common over that particular region (below).
GOES sounder total precipitable water

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