Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a large smoke plume extending along the U.S. East Coast. The smoke originated thousands of miles away in western Canada, said NASA atmospheric scientist Gary Partyka, who tracked its movement using the GEOS forward processing (GEOS-FP) model developed by NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.
“Wildland fires burn through Canada’s boreal forests every summer as temperatures rise and lightning ignites blazes. Widespread fire activity typically begins to taper off in late-August and fades away by October as days shorten, temperatures cool, and fall weather patterns take control,” said NASA.
“Not in 2023. Fires that had been burning in western Canada for months continued to rage furiously into October, growing at some of the fastest rates they have all year and generating record amounts of emissions. Evidence of their intensity filled North American skies in the last two weeks of September, with expansive smoke plumes swirling across much of Canada.”
Partyka described the pattern as “highly indexed meridional flow” that drew smoke in a circuitous route around Canada and into the United States, rather than carrying it generally west to east.
The image was captured on October 1, 2023 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on NOAA-20.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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