Monday, June 30, 2008

Satellite Pictures of the California Wildfires

The current wildfire season in California started early and is worse than usual. The other day I was in Santa Cruz, and the air quality was pretty bad - I could smell the wildfire even when swimming in the ocean; and I would have thought being so close to saltwater should make it a non-issue. I wondered whether I could have known this before; yeah, the NWS weather report is pretty good and it included "patchy smoke" warnings etc. - however, nothing beats an almost real-time satellite picture from NASA. You can clearly see the major wildfires and where the smoke is going. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the smoke from Big Sur ends up over Monterey Bay.

I grabbed this picture showing the conditions as of 6/29 (yesterday!) from the Aeronet Fresno subsets page. Image courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC.

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