Smoke from the wildfires devastating much of the west coast reached the east coast Tuesday, and have even been reported as far east as Europe. A haze was noticeable in the sky in New York City, and Washington, DC, although thankfully the haze is so high in the sky, it should not affect air quality. Smoke has also been reported in the Netherlands and in Hamburg, Germany.
If you looked up to the sky today, you may have seen a yellow or brown tinge. You were seeing smoke from the fires out W. This GOES-16 visible satellite shows smoke at 25,000 ft, as well as active fires and the busy tropics. We took a photo at our office to show the smoky sky. pic.twitter.com/tAgfomjNNC
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) September 15, 2020
Air quality in California right now is some of the worst in the world due to smoke from the wildfires.
“The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure to particle pollution is even linked to premature death.”
The smoke, which is at 25,000-feet, was enough for Alaska Airlines to temporarily suspend its flights in Portland, OR and Spokane, WA. Depending on how thick the smoke gets, it could create vivid orange and red sunsets and rises throughout the remainder of the week.
A pleasant day in the area with falling humidity and comfortable temperatures in the wake of a cold front. You’ll notice hazy skies, however, which is unusual behind a cold front. This is due to smoke from Western wildfires that has reached the East Coast. #NJwx #PAwx #DEwx #MDwx pic.twitter.com/83VeA4vAu2
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) September 14, 2020
Forecasters say that depending on how thick the smoke gets, it could create vivid orange and red sunrises and sunsets throughout the week.
Satellite images from the NOAA clearly show the smoke from the fires stretching from the west right across the Plains and Midwest to New England.
- Related: Record-Breaking California Wildfire Season | Over 3-Million-Acres Burned and 6 of Top 20 Largest Fires in History
This wildfire season is the worst on record in California and the west, killing at least 36 people and burning over 4.6 million acres.
Over 16,600 firefighters remain on the frontlines of 25 major wildfires and two extended attack wildfires in California. Yesterday, activity increased on several of the wildfires, while on other fires, crews continued their progress towards containment. Firefighters were able to contain two large wildfires yesterday, all while still responding to 33 initial attack wildfires across the State.
Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned over 3.2 million acres in California. Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 25 fatalities and over 4,200 structures destroyed.
A Red Flag Warning continues in portions of Northeastern California around Modoc National Forest and Tulelake Basin due to gusty winds and low humidity. This Red Flag Warning is in effect today, but these conditions will likely continue Thursday. Temperatures are expected to be warm today and Thursday although tempered a bit by smoke. It will be cooler Friday and through the weekend as the trough moves through with some increase in humidity.