Tag: wildfire smoke

Chairs on a beach facing the water at sunset, docks in the background. Image by Paul Douglas.
September 30

Dangerous Air: Wildfire Smoke and Dangerous PM2.5 Increasing Plains to West Coast Since 2016

A magnificent meteorological mirage…Paul Douglas Exposure To Wildfire Smoke Is A Health Risk What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, and the recent swirl of western wildfire smoke didn’t stay in California. New research shows an average of 8-10 weeks of smoke every year in Minnesota between 2016 and 2020. This past summer was Exhibit A, both eye-opening and eye- watering. A few nearby towns experienced air quality worse than Beijing or New Delhi. Which has me thinking about masks and air filtration systems at home and in our vehicles. PM2.5 pollution is especially dangerous, responsible for over 4...

August 17

Origin of “Dog Days” – Smoky US Summers On Increase Since 2016

Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer We get a whiff of Dog Days this week as daytime highs flirt with 90 degrees through Friday. Dog Days have nothing to do with an urge to pant or beg for treats, and everything to do with Sirius, the dog star – brightest in the nighttime sky. Ancient Greeks thought the star added to the heat of the sun, resulting in unbearable August heat. Of course it doesn’t quite work like that. Hazy, smoky sunshine lingers much of this week with thicker smoke the farther north and west you travel away from...

August 5

Nuisance Flooding Set to Increase – Tiny Satellites May Revolutionize Hurricane Forecasting – A Summer of Pyrocumulonimbus

File: July 15, 2021NASA Earth Observatory A Summer of Fire-Breathing Smoke Storms. NASA’s Earth Observatory explains the difference between cumulonimbus and pyrocumulonimbus: “In 2000, atmospheric scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) first reported that smoke plumes from intense wildfires could spawn towering thunderstorms that channeled smoke as high or higher than the cruising altitude of jets. These pyrocumulonimbus, or pyroCb, events wowed scientists at the time. Prior to that discovery, only explosive volcanic eruptions and extreme thunderstorms were thought to be capable of lofting material so high. Though the workings of these smoke-infused storm clouds have come into...

August 2

Latest Meteo Challenge: Predicting Wildfire Smoke Plumes – More Americans Moving to Drought-Stricken Counties

That’s not fog, it’s smokePaul Douglas Forecast Calls For Unpredictable Smoke Plumes It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. It’s not the virus, it’s the Canadian wildfire smoke. A few of us are wearing masks (indoors) at our Brainerd Lakes cabin, after air quality fell to hazardous levels yesterday. The EPA website advised us to ‘stay indoors’. Lovely. The weather this summer has been vaguely apocalyptic, between suffocating heat, jungle-like humidity, withering drought and jaw-dropping floods. A sign of summers to come? I hope not – but we need to be prepared for whatever an overheated, agitated Mother Nature throws...