Wondering Why We Have a Hazy Sky? Here’s the Answer
We have finally caught a break in the weather and it's been pretty nice, but those blue skies we long for are a lovely haze. What up?
It's the wildfires. Not here in Michigan, but the fires that are burning in parts of the Western United States and Canada. Yikes! They have generated smoke plumes that are floating all the way to the Great Lakes. Thanks California!
Since we are downstream from those wildfires, the smoke naturally shifts over our region. If you want the scientific version, Haleigh Vaughn, Fox17 Meteorologist says the small particles are mainly two to four kilometers above the surface of Michigan, but the smoke can shift closer to the surface due to mixing in the atmosphere.
The heaviest smoke is seen north, with Northern Michigan currently having higher indications of smoke plumes compared to West Michigan, according to the NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations.
The smoke in the atmosphere generates stunning views, including more of a "red" view to our sunsets. You might be wondering, why does the sun look so red? Well, it's all due to the scattering of light. The smoke particles are much larger than the normal air particles, which scatters light differently. The blue and purple wavelengths are much shorter, while the red and orange wavelengths are much larger. The additional smoke particles scatter the short wavelengths, and heighten the longer red and orange wavelengths.
Okay, that is way over my head and now you've lost me. Let's just enjoy the sunsets!
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