Canada and US wildfire smoke crosses the Atlantic Ocean
Smoke lofted above the part of the atmosphere closest to the ground (the boundary layer), where topography has a significant impact on winds, is spreading farther than smoke that remains trapped near the surface. Intense fires in Canada produced towering pyrocumulus clouds that injected smoke high into the atmosphere. Upper-level winds then dispersed it across the Atlantic Ocean.
On June 19, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of a large wildfire burning in western Quebec, near the shoreline of Hudson Bay. Winds pushed thick smoke to the northeast. (NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response.)
MODIS Aqua satellite captured haze hangs over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Canada on June 24, 2013. (Credit: LANCE Rapid Response/MODIS)
On June 23, 2013, OMPS detected a plume dense with smoky aerosols over the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Newfoundland. The plume blew east on the June 24, 2013 and reached France by June 25, 2013. Meteorological Service of Canada reported that much of the smoke came from fires in Quebec. Wildfires in Colorado, US also sent smoke plumes over Atlantic, above the boundary layer.
Images made from data collected by the Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite show the path of smoke transport over the Atlantic Ocean, reaching Europe. Remote-sensing instruments that detect aerosols can find smoke as a combination of gases and aerosols – tiny solid and liquid particles suspended in air. The maps above show relative aerosol concentrations, with lower concentrations appearing in yellow and higher concentrations appearing in dark orange-brown.(NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using OMPS research data provided courtesy of Colin Seftor (SSAI) and NASA’s Suomi NPP Ozone Science Team. Caption by Adam Voiland)
Combined Aqua MODIS RGB image and superimposed OMPS AI show smoke reaching France on June 25, 2013. While some of the smoke may have come from Colorado, trajectory analyses indicate that much of the smoke actually came from fires burning in Quebec, east of James Bay. (Credit: Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite/OMPS)
The MODIS instruments on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites acquired imagery of the smoke moving across the Atlantic on June 24, and June 25. By June 26, the smoke had reached western Europe. By June 27, it was over the Mediterranean Sea. (Credit: LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response.)
MODIS satellite image showing smoke plumes extending from Atlantic Ocean, reaching Iberia Peninsula and Western Mediterranean Sea on June 26/27, 2013 (Credit: NASA/LANCE/MODIS/Worldview)
Currently, the smoke from fires burning all over Canada moves from the northwest to the southeast.
Terra/MODIS Worldview satellite imagery of northern Atlantic region: June 29, 2013 | June 30, 2013 | July 1, 2013 | July 2, 2013
Sources: Earth Observatory, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response,
Featured image: Terra/MODIS satellite image of northern Atlantic Ocean on July 2, 2013 (Credit: LANCE/MODIS/Worldview)
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Fascinating and shocking at the same time, i never knew smoke from forest fires could travel such distances!