Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Local Effects of Far-Off Horrors

Yesterday was an odd day in the New York metropolitan area.  The weather forecast indicated that it would be a sunny, hot day, but had to be revised because of hazy conditions resulting from wildfires in the western United States.  Around dawn, the sky looked overcast, but when I arrived at my home, the sun was visible through the smoky haze of the upper atmosphere:

Throughout the day, there were hazardous air condition advisories for individuals with respiratory problems.  Not having any obligations during the day, I pretty much decided to stay inside.  When I left the house to go to work last night, the moon was a reddish color due to the smoky conditions.  Here's the silly 'live' photo I took (the still was a streaky, overexposed mess):

The extent of the wildfires is horrific, and there doesn't seem to be any succor for those individuals fighting the blaze.  Thankfully, the current occupant of the White House isn't the sort to withhold aid due to deep-seated grudges.  Even here in my safe Northeastern home, I'm feeling the effects of the smoke from a distant fire.


tony in san diego said...

and summer has just begun!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I sure hope it isn't as bad as last year, but I'm not holding my breath.

Anathema Device said...

Horrifying :(

emjayay said...

Apparently the current position of the jet stream zipped some California tropopause air which was full of forest fire smoke right to NYC. I southern Brooklyn I could see it in the air by looking down a street at trees a block or more away. It reminded me of Los Angeles in the early 60's, except my eyes weren't burning and watering.

Anyone bitching about regulations and federal government overreach (you know, Trumpsters) was never in Los Angeles back then or swimming in Lake Erie either.

What is mostly lost in reports of fires in the West is that since a lot of it gets almost zero rain for half the year or more it is normal for fires to sweep through any forest now and then. So the trees are adapted. In an ordinary level fire the smaller brush and saplings would be taken out, leaving more mature trees and creating soil conditions which other adapted plants would grow in.

Then we suppressed the fires making the forests more flammable. But prescribed burns to reverse this have been going on for about three decades. And people built houses in the middle of it.

In the rest of the country where rain is not so seasonal this problem does not exist. Feel free to build your house in the middle of some Eastern forest.