Meteorologist Discusses Western Wildfires Causing East Coast Haze

HYANNIS – Residents of Cape Cod and the East Coast of the United States have noticed haze in the sky and vivid sunsets which experts said are caused by smoke from the dozens of wildfires blazing in the western parts of the country over 2,500 miles away.

“We’ve had this strong high pressure over the western U.S. and that’s been transporting some of that smoke clockwise over the Rockies into the Great Plains. From there, the smoke has gotten caught up in wind from the west and made its way over to the East Coast,” said meteorologist with the National Weather Service Rob Megnia.

He said that the haze is usually only visible on clear, sunny days, as it is high up in the atmosphere and easily obscured by clouds.  

Megnia also said that while residents can see the haze, they will not be able to smell any smoke.

Though experts have not issued any warnings about changes in air quality due to the haze in the Cape Cod region, Megnia advised always checking with local air quality officials.

“It’s up there, dispersed in the upper atmosphere, kind of far away from the surface. But again, you always want to be aware of what you might be hearing from a local air quality perspective,” said Megnia.

On the West Coast, close to the wildfires, air quality conditions were among some of the poorest ever recorded.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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