Smoke from Canadian wildfires dim our sunshine

Local News
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(WFRV) — If you were out and about on Thursday, you probably noticed a couple things. First, it actually feels like summer out there, after a spring that seemed to never want to end. The other thing you may have noticed is the grayish-looking appearance to our sky.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires made its presence known in Wisconsin on Thursday. The sky took a milky white appearance as smoke that billows up into the atmosphere gets incorporated into the upper level winds over the western Great Lakes, making for dimmer sunshine.

Smoky view from Oshkosh Thursday afternoon


Above, you see our view from the Storm Team 5 Skyview Network in Oshkosh. This view shows the grayish, milky white appearance to the sky. This happens from time to time as wildfires in Canada put huge amounts of smoke and particulate matter into the sky. The very fast moving upper level winds then incorporate this smoke thousands of feet above us.

Here’s a view of our hi-resolution satellite imagery from Thursday afternoon. You can see the clouds, but also the wispy looking clouds that is actually smoke, drifting into a low pressure system located over northern Illinois.

Usually, all that happens is our sunshine gets dimmed and the sky looks more gray.

Sometimes, if the wind is really strong and turbulent, we can actually mix some of the smoke down to the ground and you will smell the smoke.

Something to be on the look out for is spectacular sunsets in these conditions. The smoke particles help to scatter the sunlight that is really low on the horizon and the colors can be amazing!

Look for that Thursday evening as our sunset will be at 8:28 PM.

-Chief Meteorologist Luke Sampe

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