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How do the western wildfires impact our area?

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 10:07 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - The western wildfires have caused great impact to the western region of the United States bringing poor air quality due to the smoke being on the ground. But in our area the effects aren’t on the ground, they’re up in the sky!

“The low smoke that they have there doesn’t get carried out like west to east like it does higher in the atmosphere and we don’t have the bad air quality down at the ground. That high air current does carry that smoke... and carries it right over the center of the country and right over the Mid-Atlantic and the northeast and that’s what we see when we look up at the sky these past couple days," said Christopher Strong, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia.

Hazy weather can bring beautiful sunrises and sunsets but when the haze is too thick, it dilutes the sky and sun’s brightness like what happened here Tuesday night.

We are expecting to see the hazy conditions go away during the weekend, but what leads to this change?

“It looks like this weekend some cooler air will be coming down from Canada and that will buckle the jet stream further south and that could push the smoke... at least the higher concentrations of smoke down to the south and out of our region for a time," said Strong.

This means clear conditions will only be temporary. As the wildfires continue to rage on in the western US, hazy conditions will come and go. Only a surge of cold air or a surge of warm air would keep the sky from being hazy until the fires are put out.

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