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September 15, 2020

Philly Twitter users share images of hazy skies caused by smoke from West Coast wildfires

Residents of the Philadelphia region noticed changes in the sky

Weather Smoke
wildfire smoke philly skies Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Smoke from wildfires on the West Coast has been carried to the Philadelphia region this week by jet stream currents, causing residents to notice differences in the appearance of the sky. The photo above is a file photo and does not show the current hazy sky.

Smoke from the wildfires raging across Oregon, Washington, and California has made the air quality in West Coast cities some of the worst in the world. That smoke has now traveled all the way to the Philadelphia region, the National Weather Service says.

Fires across the Western United States were brought on by drought conditions months ago and are continuing to burn. At least 33 people have died, 26 have been reported missing, and 4.6 million acres of land have burned as a result.

Smoke from the western wildfires is now being  propelled across the entire country by jet stream air currents traveling between 25,000 and 35,000 feet above the ground. The pollution recently reached Washington, D.C., New York City, and the Philadelphia area.

In Philly, the smoke is at such a high elevation it is not considered a health threat. However, it is making noticeable changes the sky. 

The sky now appears hazy and smokey in Philly, South Jersey, and other parts of the East Coast.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J. tweeted on Monday afternoon that the reason the sky looked different was due to smoke that traveled here from the West Coast. 

NWS meteorologists said they were "getting some questions and comments about the sunset this evening." The reason the sky looked different was due to the smoke, which is expected linger for a few days.

The setting sun may also appear bright red or orange due to the wildfire smoke, which is not a concern for people with asthma or other respiratory problems.

Residents from the area shared pictures of the brightly colored setting sun on Monday evening. 

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