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Wildfire Smoke over the Atlantic Ocean
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
In September 2012, wildfires in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming had consequences far beyond the borders of those states. Smoke stretched from Utah to Texas and, according to the Smog Blog, a light layer of smoke even wafted over Baltimore.
On September 19, 2012, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite observed a thin veil of smoke over the Atlantic Ocean, east of Newfoundland. The smoke stretched hundreds of kilometers north to south and an even grater distance east to west.
In Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, air quality ranged from unhealthy to hazardous, the Smog Blog reported. Meanwhile, east-moving winds ensured that the smoke would turn skies hazy thousands of kilometers away. The smoke transport was a continuing pattern in the summer of 2012.