A Red Sun And Weird Weather, What’s Going On In WNY?
Does it seem like Mother Nature has it in for Western New York lately?
As if the heavy rains and flooding our area has experienced in the past week weren't weird enough the sun has appeared to change color with a red hue across much of the northern United States.
According to News 4 Meteorologist Mike Cejka the reason for the "red sun" is smoke from Wildfires on the West Coast and in Canada.
The smoke apparently has traveled all the way across the continent due to air currents in the upper atmosphere, even causing an air quality advisory for our area in the last few days. The smoke acts as a filter for the sky — sunlight interacts with very small particles in the atmosphere and scatters colors.
This has resulted in reports of the sun looking dull with a red tint that is most visible at sunrise and sunset.
“What happens is, the smoke from these wildfires rises high up in the atmosphere and it gets pushed around by the wind flow up there,” Cejka said. “This isn’t at ground level, this is up around 20,000, 30,000 feet in the atmosphere. Basically, the smoke layer is pushed around by whatever wind direction is found over the Great Lakes at the time.”
The colored skies may not last long the rains that we've been experiencing could push the smoke out of the atmosphere, Cejka said.
“If anything rises high enough into the atmosphere, the steering currents are just going to take it wherever they’re flowing to,” Cejka said. “That wind flow upstairs in the atmosphere has been from northwest to southeast. That’s why that smoke was projected in our direction. … The sky will start to look deeper blue over the next few days.”
As wildfires continue to burn it’s possible smoky skies and the "red sun" could make a return.