A beautiful yet terrifying map shows how wildfire smoke spreads

Now, in the Maps menu, click on “Vertically Integrated Smoke”. Instead of measuring the smoke around 8 meters from the ground, it is modeling what looks like a column in a 25-kilometer air high place in a given place in the US. (You can see it in the sky like smoke, as opposed to nearby surface smoke is the material you are actually breathing.) As you can see, on this scale, smoking now covers most of the country.

To map this out, HRRR takes into account the infrared intensity of those fires and projects and how much smoke the fire emits. That smoking begins in the aids that atmospheric scientists call the boundary layer. “This is the level at which you experience difficulties when you land anywhere in the country on a late afternoon plane,” says Benjamin. “But then that air merges above some boundary layer, and then faces the horizontal wind.” This smoke carries from west to east.

And as the smoky air circulates across the country, Benjamin adds, “What happens during the day melts down from the stormy mix. And in the same way you get some of them to show back closer to the surface now. “

Click back on the “Smoke near the surface” option, and you can see that only a small fraction of that smoke actually escapes from the atmosphere and reaches the land on the east coast. So unlike the residents of Bay Area, you have nothing to worry about if you are in New York or Philadelphia. “It’s an order of magnitude difference,” unfortunate Benjamin of California tells me. “You’re getting creamed.”

But, HRRR is still experimental, it has quickly become an important tool for meteorologists and meteorologists as no one has been able to predict previously smoky clouds. Previously, researchers were able to look at satellite images to see where the smoke was Currently Is. “This is really the first resource that tells you something about where the smoke coming out of, and what the forecast is,” says Justin de Gau, an environmental scientist at the Co-operative Society for the Research of Environmental Sciences. “University of Colorado, Boulder.

This helped De Gaulle plan his experiments, in which he took atmospheric measurements from an airplane to study how smoke chemically changes as it passes through the air. If he knows where the smoke is coming from, he knows where to take the samples. “Most people, when they think about smoking, think about the particles of smoke,” says De Gau. “But with smoke comes a lot of gases, and many of those gases are very reactive, which changes over a period of hours.”