The Advanced Baseline Imager on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-East showed smoke from wildfires in Quebec moving offshore over the Atlantic Ocean on June 9. Credit: Aerosol Watch

SAN FRANCISCO – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s is closely tracking smoke from the Canadian wildfires moving June 9 from the Northeastern United States over the Atlantic Ocean.

NOAA is tracing the movement of smoke with the Advanced Baseline Imager, the primary instrument on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-East (GOES-East) weather satellite. GOES-East observes the eastern United States and Canada, South America and the Atlantic Ocean from its longitude of 75 West. ABI makes observations every five minutes. Images tracing the smoke’s path are available on NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Services GeoColor website.  

Meanwhile, Aerosol Watch, from NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research, provides satellite imagery forecasters use to assess local air quality.

On June 8, a storm over Eastern Canada began pushing smoke from more than 100 fires burning in Quebec south over the Mid-Atlantic and east over the Atlantic Ocean.

“This is the worst event I can remember in terms of wildfires, certainly in the last 10 or 15 years for the eastern U.S.,” Amy Huff, senior research scientist at NOAA’s Center for Satellite Applications and Research, told SpaceNews. As long as drought conditions persist in many parts of the United States and Canada, though, “we’re going to see these wildfires both in the eastern U.S. and across the U.S. as well,” Huff added.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...