GBUAPCD Air Blog

Dust and smoke issues in the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Archive for the ‘Haze’ Category

Asian Particulate Transport Video (Financial Times)

Posted by admin on July 1, 2013

Short video discussing Asian pollution migration: http://video.ft.com/v/2506012869001/California-wrestles-with-pollution-from-Asia

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Asian dust is a possibility

Posted by admin on March 18, 2011

The theory of long-range transport of windblown dust is regaining credibility as to causing or contributing to the recent haze.  From March 11-14, 2011, dust blew off a western China desert.  

March 18, 2011 – Dust storm in Taklimakan Desert, Western China

Upper air stream lines can be traced from that source up across the Bering Strait and then down around the low pressure cell, shown in the previous post, and into southern California.

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Taste of the Central Valley?

Posted by admin on March 18, 2011

Monitors throughout the valley are showing a definite increase in particulate matter concentrations as a result of the haze that settled in starting yesterday afternoon.  If you read  yesterday afternoon’s post, there was a suggestion that it might be long-range transport from an enormous north African dust storm.  That theory has been retracted, as that event was on March 3, 2010.  More likely is that the general airflow, as shown in the model below, is transporting Central Valley pollution over the Sierra. 

The model starts today and projects out for a week.  The reddish hues are low pressure troughs and the blues are high pressure ridges.  The pattern seems to hold for a few days, so clearing may be gradual.  The picture below is from a webcam west of Little Lake, looking north at the haze spanning the Sierra Crest from west to east.

Bald Mountain webcam view, 3/18/2011

This Google Earth image shows the Bald Mountain webcam location and approximate view angle.  A link to a series of Sierra webcams is posted on the left.

Bald Mountain webcam location

An air quality website, http://www.airnow.gov/ posted the image below that shows development this morning of a (yellow) area of moderate, combined PM2.5 and ozone, air quality index (AQI) that corroborates these observations.  See website for definition of “moderate” AQI.

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Mystery haze settles in

Posted by admin on March 17, 2011

Just after noon today, District staff took photos from Aberdeen (composite panorama below) of haze building up over the Sierra and starting to settle into the Owens Valley.  Inquiries were made to the state Air Resources Board and San Joaquin Valley APCD’s meteorologists and smoke management coordinators.  No known prescribed burns or wildland fires could be causing this visibility impact. 

Sierra Panorama from Aberdeen Thursday, 3/17/2011, 12:30 PM

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