PHOTO GALLERY: Smoke from Canadian wildfires leads to red-orange sunrise and sunset

Smoke scatters sunlight, leading to a red-orange sunrise and sunset in our area

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Bobby Lyons - Hillsville

ROANOKE, Va. – Wildfires have sparked in parts of Canada and the Western U.S., due to ongoing drought and last week’s record heat. Smoke from these large wildfires can be lofted thousands of feet into the air.

The jet stream, an area of high winds around airplane level, can then blow that smoke to different parts of North America. Over the weekend, a northwest wind helped to drag some of that smoke into the Southeast.

While it didn’t contribute to any air quality issues, thankfully, it did contribute to darker red and orange hues at sunrise and sunset Monday and Tuesday. Things like smoke, dust or ice crystals in high-level cirrus clouds can scatter the sun’s light more, which helps to bring out different colors on the visible spectrum.

How smoke can add to more reds and oranges at sunrise and sunset

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About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.