How satellites are helping California's wildfire recovery efforts
By Meghan Bartels
November 21, 2018, 12:08:30 PM EST
No one in Northern California would question that the Camp Fire, in addition to killing scores of people, destroying thousands of buildings and burning a huge amount of acreage, has made the region's air hard to breathe.
But satellite imagery confirms what Californians are experiencing on the ground — rates of black carbon, an aerosol created by wildfires, have become particularly high in Northern California beginning on Nov. 9.
Black carbon in a type of fine particulate matter, which is known to cause health problems in the respiratory tract and cardiovascular system. Scientists can monitor black carbon by pulling together data gathered by satellites, airplanes and systems on the ground. They also feed in weather data to understand how factors like wind and precipitation affect the aerosol.
Southern California also saw a smaller, more short-lived spike in the pollutant on Nov. 10 and 11 due to the Woolsey Fire that burned west of Los Angeles beginning on Nov. 8. That fire has been almost entirely contained, and the focus is shifting from managing the fire to dealing with its aftermath.
More Weather News
Weather News - March 22, 2019, 1:24:30 AM EDT
The four-day blaze sent smoke and dangerous fumes billowing into the air -- and resulted in a shelter-in-place alert
Flood damages exceed $1.3 billion in Nebraska as floodwaters begin to slowly recede across central US
Weather News - March 22, 2019, 3:01:04 AM EDT
Evacuations, flood warnings and states of emergency persist as historic river flooding continues to burden the north-central United States.
Weather News - March 22, 2019, 1:22:48 AM EDT
In less than 24 hours, Veronica went from an unnamed tropical low to a Category 4 intense tropical cyclone as it spun off the northwestern coastline of Western Australia. The powerful cyclone is now taking aim at the Pilbara Coast.
Tropical Cyclone Trevor may bring a year's worth of rain to central Australia after slamming into Northern Territory
Weather News - March 22, 2019, 3:10:49 AM EDT
The dangers to lives and property are expected to expand well away from where Tropical Cyclone Trevor makes a dangerous strike on Australia's Northern Territory early this weekend.
Cyclone Idai flood catastrophe: Estimates of more than 1,000 dead as 'inland ocean' forms in Mozambique
Weather News - March 21, 2019, 4:57:57 PM EDT
More than a thousand people are feared dead in Mozambique and Zimbabwe as the flood catastrophe caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai rages on. Drier weather is expected to finally return later this weekend.
Weather News - March 22, 2019, 3:13:55 AM EDT
A combination of factors may come together to unleash a rapid flooding event across central and southeastern portions of Maine and New Brunswick into Friday night.
Weather News - March 21, 2019, 11:53:04 AM EDT
Weather and the expanded MLB schedule have created unforgettable moments for baseball fans
Weather News - March 21, 2019, 6:02:56 PM EDT
A NOAA satellite image shows how the vernal equinox divides the Earth, a phenomenon that's as fleeting as it is breathtaking