Sunsets this weekend in the Upper Midwest will be stunning; there’s a dramatic reason why
MILWAUKEE — If you live in the Upper Midwest or the Great Lakes region, brace yourself for some seriously fiery sunsets over the next few days.
The reason why is pretty dramatic, too.
Wind is pushing smoke from wildfires raging across the northern part of the Canadian province of Alberta hundreds of miles south and east, into the United States. And when smoke fills the sky, especially high in the atmosphere, it reflects the sunset colors of red and orange back to the surface, magnifying them.
The wildfires have forced about 10,000 people to leave their homes. And the smoke “is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility over much of the province,” Environment Canada said Friday in a statement.
Several people have tweeted videos and photos of an orange haze enveloping the provincial capital, Edmonton.
High pressure over Alberta and Saskatchewan is responsible for sinking air, which traps smoke closer to the surface. It’s also delivering clear skies to the northern provinces, bringing dry conditions that can worsen fires.
Clockwise winds around the high pressure are pushing the winds on the east side of the high to the south, toward the Upper Midwest.
The winds earlier this week blew south and west, ushering the smoke — mostly in the upper atmosphere — toward Seattle, the National Weather Service office there explained.