Western wildfires drift haze over Southwest and Central Virginia


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — There will be a haze over Southwest and Central Virginia for the next couple of days as a result of wildfires to our west.

Extreme heat and extreme to exceptional drought conditions have allowed large wildfires to ignite in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Canada. The smoke, from these fires, rises into the upper levels of the atmosphere, and then the jet stream will carry the haze thousands of miles to various parts of the United States; including Southwest and Central Virginia.

Light smoke will be noticeable in our area on Tuesday and Wednesday. The smoke won’t be dense, but the hazy conditions could result in enhanced sunrises and sunsets. The smoke will scatter the sunlight, causing the sky’s colors to appear more muted and the sun to appear a dark red-orange color.

Although the smoke is expected to stay high in the atmosphere, the smoky conditions will have an impact on air quality in Southwest and Central Virginia. According to AirNow, the Air Quality Index has the Roanoke Valley under moderate conditions. This means if you are unusually sensitive to air pollution, you should consider reducing your activity level or shorten your time outside.

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