Expert: Monday haze seen in Delaware Valley caused by California wildfires

Shara Dae Howard
November 19, 2018 - 9:26 pm
Nov. 14, 2018; Bloomer Hill, CA, USA; Firefighters from Div Q Q conduct backburn to remove fuel as they work to contain fire near Bloomer Hill.

Scott Clause/The Advertiser via USA TODAY NETWORK

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There was a bit of haze in the sky Monday afternoon, which a local expert explains is a California fire smoke plume moving through the Delaware Valley. 

"Terrible fires out in California are large and powerful and putting a lot of smoke out into the air," said retired meteorologist Gary Szatkowski.

He says the weather service computer models are showing that the California wildfires are producing so much smoke that a plume made of that same smoke has made it all the way to the Delaware Valley.

"The computer model said some of it came over to us today and many people have noted that the sky looked kind of hazy this afternoon," Szatkowski said. 

He could recall a time when forest fire from Canada was blown down to the Philadelphia area, but not in recent history could he remember smoke traveling from the West Coast all the way to the East Coast. 

"Not unheard of but it's pretty rare that smoke from such a distant fire to be able to affect our weather," he added. 

Szatkowski said the haze should clear out by Tuesday morning, and since the smoke was several miles up in the atmosphere in the area known as the jet stream, it shouldn't cause a health concern.
 
But as always, people should be cautious.