Milky misty sun over NJ? Smoke from forest fires over 2,000 miles

It seems that every year a part of the western United States catches fire with a huge wildfire. And it seems that every year that smoke inevitably creeps across the country, into the New Jersey atmosphere.

In fact, we posted about it in September 2020 and November 2018.

A smoky sun over Fredon, Sussex County, in September 2020 (Mark Worobetz)

A series of fires continue to burn in Oregon and Washington State. The largest of these has been dubbed the Bootleg Fire, which the Associated Press reports burned 476 square miles in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, southeast of Portland, Oregon.

Just to give you an idea of ​​the scale, this wildfire is approximately the size of Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Smoke is a dirty business. When the smoke particles from forest fires are carried into the upper atmosphere, they encounter the “river of wind” known as the jet stream.

GFS model jet stream forecast. Note the high speed “river of air” that currently stretches northwest to New Jersey. (DuPage College of Meteorology)
Vertically integrated HRRR smoke product, showing particles from the Northwest being transported directly to New Jersey. (NOAA / GSL / AVID)

Although the western fires have been burning for at least two weeks, there has been little to no effect here so far. However, an area of ​​particularly dense smoke is expected to pass over New Jersey in the coming days.

Here are a few things to know about the impending smoke invasion:

1.) The sun will probably look “weird”, sometimes looking milky, smoky and washed out. (Our weather will be hot for Tuesday and Wednesday, so expect it to be very foggy.)

2.) The smoke will dramatically enhance the reds, oranges and yellows of sunrise and sunset. (Prepare your camera!)

3.) You will not smell any smoke. It will be about 6 miles above.

4.) There should be no visibility problems at ground level.

5.) In the worst case, increased levels of ground level pollution could trigger air quality alerts. People sensitive to poor air quality, including the very young, the very old, and those with heart and lung disease, might consider limiting the time spent outdoors during the hottest part of the house. day.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: your forecasts over 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. He even took a whole college course on smoke plumes. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

West Coast Wildfire Smoke Reaches New Jersey (2020)

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