September 15, 2020
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.
We're getting some questions and comments about the sunset this evening. Yes, the smoke is responsible for the way the Sun is appearing as it goes down. Feel free to share your pictures! https://t.co/izVRuluKol— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) September 14, 2020
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.
In Moorestown Nj you can see the smoke. Like 20 minutes from Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/HWOh3PI4bg— 🦊Grunger Fox🇺🇸@???⚠️🚨 (@grunger_fox) September 15, 2020
From Abington, PA - That is wild @6abcadamjoseph @Melissa_Magee. I did notice the odd haze all day, especially as the sun was setting. It didn't really occur to me that this is smoke from the #CaliforniaWildfires #Philadelphia #smokyskies #smoke #weather pic.twitter.com/4rYPuOY8B8— AC Junior 😷 (@CamJunior1972) September 14, 2020
On my flight home from Philadelphia I could barely see the ground the whole time because of upper-level wildfire smoke. pic.twitter.com/GQsqLTOmWC— Victor (@VictorGoat_) September 15, 2020