Wondering Why It Has Been So Hazy Lately In The Duluth Area?
Looking out over Lake Superior the last few days, seeing the horizon hasn't been an easy thing. A haze has descended on the Twin Ports, making for an interesting orange-tinted sunrise this morning and raising questions among locals of why that is happening this week.
The Duluth Office for the National Weather Service shared a photo on their Facebook Page, showing a high level of "aerosol optical depth" from a satellite image. This image (seen below) shows how much blocked sunlight the satellite is picking up due to dust, haze, or smoke. As you can see, Minnesota is seeing a fair amount of haziness. As it turns out, this haziness is due to wildfires on the West Coast. This phenomenon tends to be somewhat of a regular thing, as the last few years have seen summer wildfires out west that have given us in the Twin Ports a handful of hazy days as the atmosphere blows the smoke around.
It is worth noting that haze in the air due to smoke can lead to problems for those with respiratory issues. As of the time of this post, the MPCA rated air quality much of Minnesota (including the Twin Ports) as "moderate" quality.
The USDA Forest Service is reporting major wildfire incidents scattered all over the western portion of the country, with a majority of them in Montana, California, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Colorado.