Hundreds of thousands of acres ablaze in Canada have created a sometimes colorful haze in the skies over North Dakota.
By Brad Mosher
Smoke from the fires in Canada have gone as far south to parts of Kansas and Colorado.
In Hettinger County, the impact was bringing a dull smoky haze to the skies over Mott, Regent and New England by the first of June.
But it was a familiar scene throughout southwestern North Dakota.
According to Tom Hamilton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, the haze has lessened because of change in wind direction over the state that has moved the smoke to the east.
“Right now, it has cleared up quite a bit in western and central North Dakota.” Hamilton said Monday afternoon.
“It was much worse over the weekend, but due to the upper level winds it has moved out of the North Dakota area for now.”
The meteorologist also said that was the changes in wind patterns which made a big difference in the North Dakota skies. “It was the orientation of the upper level winds over the region. Over the weekend … they were moving from Alberta right into western and central North Dakota.”
The haze in the North Dakota skies will depend on the fire conditions in Canada, he added. “There could also be problems later on from the U.S. if we get forest fires in the western United States later on in the summer.”
The smoke from the Canadian fires has been pushed off into the eastern United States due to the orientation of the upper level winds, he explained.
“Right now, it (the haze) is not a big concern for us. But, if we see that the winds come back to more northwest, it could bring smoke back into the area. It could be a continuing deal.
“Right now, the conditions are better for North Dakota,” he said.