FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As you step outside, you may notice a strange tint to the sky. This has been the case over the past few days. What is causing the unusual amount of haziness?
The answer lies off to our north and west. Canadian wildfires have been burning across the central and western parts of the country, and the smoke has traveled all the way to northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. The smoke is located far in the upper atmosphere and is responsible for the vibrant colors at sunrise and sunset. This was the case on Saturday evening, looking from our Country Heritage camera.
Smoke from these wildfires becomes caught in the jet stream, which is a river of fast-moving air that separates two airmasses. The jet stream is positioned in a way where air is transported down from Canada into our section of the United States; we are receiving the smoke in the upper levels of the atmosphere. This will continue to be the general pattern as we move throughout this week.
There are many active wildfires in Canada; the ones ongoing in the province of Manitoba continue to bring smoke into our area. Below is a general breakdown of the smoke plume extent from Canadian wildfires.
Smoke arriving in the upper atmosphere is not all that unusual for our area, but the density and duration depend on the weather patterns. The severity of the wildfire season out west, the alignment of the jet stream, and the track and speed of weather systems are all influential factors.
No impacts to personal health and wellness are expected with the smoke moving through the area. The Live Doppler 15 Fury Storm Team will continue to monitor this round and any future rounds of wildfire smoke.
If you would like to track the smoke and learn more, visit the AirNow Fire and Smoke Map or check out the National Weather Service’s Air Quality Forecast Guidance page.
Meteorologist Megan Dodson with the National Weather Service in Northern Indiana contributed to this story by providing supporting knowledge and the above website links.