Smoky Skies Over Pacific Northwest This Weekend

August 11, 2012

Saturday Morning:

This morning’s visible satellite image shows two areas of smoke converging on us…you can clearly see the smoke from fires in California across southern Oregon.  But if you look closely, note the hazy look over and above the patches of low clouds over NW Oregon and Western Washington.  Do you see it?  That is fire smoke from Asia!  Big fires have been ongoing all summer in eastern Russia, and eventually that smoke works its way around to our section of the globe.   And sure enough, when I look outside this morning, it’s quite hazy.  Here’s a better picture from the Terra satellite on Friday morning clearly showing the smoke moving in.  This picture is much higher resolution because it comes from a polar orbiting satellite just a few hundred miles above the surface.  The picture above is from a GOES satellite that is 23,000 miles away!

Cliff Mass wrote a great post (as he always does) about the smoke from Asia yesterday here:

The payoff is a reddish sunset, but we’ll get plenty of haze with our warm to hot weather this weekend.

By the way, most likely this is the peak of our summer weather since we’re moving into mid-August now.  Just about all 80s and 90s the next 7 days.  Once we get into the latter half of August (beyond this very warm period), we’ll see nighttime temperatures start to cool off and the risk for 95-100 degree heat really drops off.  So get outside and find some water; enjoy the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer during our short and warm summer!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen