Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere            Ackerman and Knox

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 Smoke From Central American Fires

This loop of daily (06 - 15 May 1998) GOES-8 0.65 micron visible imagery shows a widespread smoke pall over the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding regions (note the hazy appearance of the smoke over much of the Gulf and the adjacent Gulf Coast states). This pall formed as smoke from biomass burning across southern Mexico and parts of Central America drifted northward and northeastward a period of several days.

Persistent south/southwesterly flow has transported the smoke over the Gulf of Mexico, impacting the Gulf Coast states. Reduced visibility (as low as 2-3 miles) has been reported in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. A public health alert was issued on 12 May 1998 for portions of Texas due to the large amount of smoke particulate matter which has been transported into the region.

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