Orange skies across California as wildfire smoke blankets state

By Lori A. Carter, The Press Democrat, September 9, 2020

“In Sonoma County, residents marveled at the eerie yellow-to-orange shades in the sky, captured by cellphone shots and mountaintop fire cameras placed throughout the North Bay.

“As the day dawned, dull and dark under the smoke, meteorologists based in Monterey worked with a ‘heightened sense of urgency,’ forecaster Roger Gass said, acknowledging the output from wildfires was so thick above the region that their initial forecast, which called for an 80-degree day in Santa Rosa, was well off by as much as 20 degrees.

“The ‘creepy, eerie’ sky colors seen Wednesday are caused by particles in the smoke that scatter blue light, allowing yellow, orange and red light to reach human eyes, said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

“A permanent monitoring station in Ukiah registered unhealthy air for sensitive groups and three low-cost sensors at the south end of Clear Lake had unhealthy air, while two sensors at Willits recorded very unhealthy air, the worst rating.

“The region has been buffeted by worse air pollution, like the dark skies during the 2017 North Bay wildfires, when conditions were likened to Beijing, China, or the smoky fallout from the 2018 Camp fire in Butte County. But the current pollution is unique in the expanse of smoke and the distance it has traveled, Gass said.”

Read the full article here. (~ 5 min.)

Related: Seth Borenstein (Associated Press) reaches out to climate experts for their natural disaster predictions. Several experts point out that California is in the midst of a 20 year ‘mega-drought.’ More disasters are expected worldwide. Read the full article in The Press Democrat here.

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