The View From Space as Wildfire Smoke Smothers Large Swaths of North America


Smoke from wildfires within the western United States and Canada unfold practically coast to coast, and from Canada to Mexico, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, as seen on this map based mostly on pc modeling output. (Credit score: NOAA International Methods Laboratory)

Yesterday, as my daughter sat within the stands of New York Metropolis’s Yankee Stadium, she turned her gaze from the gamers on the sector to the sky. She was unsettled by what she noticed: a miasma of air air pollution.

“I am at a Yankees recreation and the sky seems like Shanghai,” she texted me. “Is it from the fires?”

I used to be in Boulder, Colorado, the place our personal skies had been crammed with gunk and the air high quality had declined to “UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS.” (That would come with me, since I’ve bronchial asthma.)

So I checked satellite tv for pc imagery, and certain sufficient, smoke from fires within the northwestern United States and Canada had been swept up by the jet stream and carried throughout the continent. I might see clearly that New York was beneath a thick pall.

You possibly can see the pall within the video above, consisting of pictures acquired by by the GOES-16 climate satellite tv for pc.

Blazes Burn On and On…

“Wildfires proceed to burn actively throughout 13 states, the place 78 giant fires and complexes have burned 1,346,736 acres,” the Nationwide Interagency Fireplace Heart reported in its replace in the present day (July 21). That is greater than 4 occasions the dimensions of town of Los Angeles. “New giant fires had been reported in California, Montana and Wyoming.”

Battling the blazes are greater than 20,700 wildland firefighters and assist personnel.

The animation above, based mostly on pc modeling output, exhibits smoke spreading virtually coast-to-coast. The purple coloration exhibits the thickest concentrations and will help you find particular person fires. Particularly, take a look at northern California, southern Oregon, northern Washington, and British Columbia. A lot of the smoke is coming from wildfires in these areas.

This view from the GOES-16 satellite tv for pc stretches from Colorado and the Rocky Mountains on the left, all the best way to the Atlantic coast on the proper. Within the animation, clouds are white and principally obscure the bottom, whereas the smoke has a considerably duskier tone and isn’t opaque. Check out the Northeast and you’ll clearly see smoke drifting out over the North Atlantic.

On July 17, 2021, smoke from North American wildfires had blown all the best way throughout the North Atlantic to Norway and Sweden, circled in purple on this map of the smoke distribution. (Credit score: Copernicus Environment Monitoring Service)

In truth, smoke from North American wildfires has already made it throughout the Atlantic, as this map exhibits. I’ve circled a patch of smoke that on July 17th had made all of it the best way to Norway and Sweden.

Due to situations which can be anticipated to stay sizzling and dry, the outlook is sadly for vital wildfire dangers throughout giant parts of the Western United States and even into the Higher Midwest throughout the remainder of July and by way of August.



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