Credentials: Air Quality Meteorologist at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Website: HAQAST Ambassador
Connecticut continues to have the worst air quality along the U.S. east coast. Besides the transport of pollutants from nearby States upwind, the effects of pollutants from the smoke plumes of fires far away has become more of a concern in recent years. In 2016, we successfully used a number of NASA satellite products to convince the EPA to approve our ozone exceptional event request regarding the Canadian Fort McMurray fires. Besides ozone, PM2.5 levels have also been elevated during some smoke plume events and we carefully monitor the satellite images to give the public advance warning. Besides the various daily polar orbiting satellite products, we have made increased use of the GOES satellite products that can show movement of smoke plumes over the course of a day. The GOES products can now inform us near real-time of the potential impact of smoke. Overall, the NASA visible, fire and aerosol products have been a valuable tool for our air quality forecasters, and we make almost daily use of these products.