It might seem odd to think that a wildfire might actually be able to cool off a region, but in one sense, that’s actually true. It may not be the case at those locations where the fires are in progress and consuming large tracts of forest, wherever the wind blows them, but in those sections downwind of the blazes, it does have a curious effect.
The Canadian wildfires which are currently dominating parts of British Columbia are being borne along powerful winds which are blowing in a persistently southern direction, which means they are sweeping toward the northwestern United States like Washington and Oregon. A blanket of haze fairly thick in some areas and thinner in others is thus being carried into many of the cities in those northern states and is actually blocking out the rays of the sun to some extent.
Sun Screen in Place
With this shield in place throughout July 2017, and for the upcoming weeks, it can be expected that a kind of sun screen will be shielding residents of those areas from the hottest rays of the sun, and will impart a slight cooling trend to the region. With sunlight being reflected off that haze back into earth’s atmosphere, much less reaches the surface to make residents uncomfortable.
This setup is counteracting the normal effects of the high-pressure systems which have dominated the weather in the Pacific Northwest throughout the 2017 summer, and which have brought record-setting temperatures to the region in the process. These high-pressure air masses, which normally move through the area have instead stalled out, and have remained in place for long periods of time bringing heat-wave type temperatures to the entire region. But with the thick haze carried southward from British Columbia, much of the accompanying sunshine has been blocked and prevented from adding to the cumulative heating impact.
How long will wildfire smoke be in place?
That steady stream of wildfire smoke can be expected to keep pouring out of Canada for the next several weeks since the British Columbia wildfires are still far from being controlled. However, Canada is receiving help from other countries, notably New Zealand, which has sent at least 80 experienced firefighters to help quell the blazes in the western provinces. Additionally, as summer comes to an end and the weather cools, we hope that the changing of the seasons will provide Canada and the Northwestern United States with some relief.
Nature’s Packaging supports sustainable North American wood packaging and is committed to North American forest sustainability. Forest fires are integral to forest health and can be beneficial to the plants and wildlife within a forest.
Why so much smoke in Seattle from B.C. wildfires? http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/weather/why-so-much-smoke-from-b-c-fires-natures-air-conditioning-is-broken-weather-service-says/
Canadian wildfires are so bad you can see them from space: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-wildfires-space-vancouver-visible-nasa-worldview-british-columbia-satellites-smoke-a7877046.html