DESCRIPTIVE TEXT NARRATIVE FOR SMOKE/DUST OBSERVED IN SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 1700Z June 20, 2006.
Southwestern and Central US: Smoke was quite widespread early this morning across portions of the southwestern and central US. At least 6 major fires, which were responsible for much of the smoke, were noted over the region including southern California, Arizona, southern Colorado, and New Mexico. The large fire in Santa Barbara County of southern California was emitting a mainly thin to locally moderately dense area of smoke which spread generally in an eastward direction into southern Nevada. In Arizona, fires in northern Coconino and along the Coconino/Yavapai County border were producing thin to moderately dense smoke which was moving in a northeasterly direction. The northern Coconino fire was responsible for more smoke than the southern one and also contributed to a much larger batch of smoke which moved across the region stretching from Utah across Colorado and southern Wyoming into the Central Plains. The biggest smoke producing fire noted this morning was in Catron County of southwestern New Mexico. It was producing a locally very dense batch of smoke which spread eastward during the morning. It also was responsible for a much larger mass of smoke which covered a good portion of New Mexico and also southern Colorado. Smoke from this fire along with other significant fires noted near the Colfax-Mora County border of northeastern New Mexico and near the Huerfano-Costilla County border of southern Colorado had combined and fanned out as it moved northeastward across portions of the central and southern Plains. Smoke was analyzed as far east as Missouri, although cloudiness present over the middle of the country made additional smoke detection difficult. Satellite imagery showed haze even farther to the east across the Ohio Valley and Mississippi/Tennessee Valley, but it is not known whether any of it can be directly linked to smoke. Alaska/Canada: Visible imagery this morning showed a patch of mostly thin to possibly locally moderately dense smoke from a fire in the west central portion of the Yukon Province of northwestern Canada, very close to the Alaska border. The smoke was spreading mainly in a northerly direction across eastern Alaska and the northwestern Yukon Province. Another region of possible detached smoke stretched from northwestern British Columbia Province into the southwestern portion of the Yukon Province. The source region for this possible smoke was unknown. A very long but relatively narrow swath of thin to moderately dense smoke extended from near Lake Athabasca close to the Alberta-Saskatchewan Province border southeastward almost to northern Minnesota and Lake Superior. This smoke was believed to have originated primarily from fires over northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan Provinces in western Canada. JS