First Alert Weather

Philly's Gray Skies, Odd Sunsets Caused by West Coast Wildfire Smoke

The smoke is high above the ground and not a threat to air quality back east

NBC Universal, Inc.

Smoke from the West Coast wildfires is drifting over to the East Coast and causing hazy skies and strange sunsets. But despite the odd sight, there is no threat to our air quality back east.

The smoke from fires in California, Oregon and Washington rose to a high altitude and then caught the jet stream, NBC10's First Alert Weather Team says. In our area, live cameras showed gray, hazy air in Philly, Allentown and Wilmington.

Because the smoke is high up and in a low concentration, our region doesn't face an air quality risk.

A radar image shows plumes of smoke heading toward the East Coast, with the dark reds indicating the more severe concentrations.

Nonetheless, it made for some interesting Monday night sunsets here. Our team says to expect another mysterious sunset tonight.

The National Weather Service warned it could become even hazier as the day goes on, showing a forecast that had darker reds drifting down toward the Lehigh Valley, New York City and Philly between 7 and 8 p.m.

Sunset in Philadelphia is about 7:08 p.m. Tuesday.

Steve Sosna/NBC10
Monday and Tuesday night's sunsets are expected to be hazy as smoke from western wildfires drifts to the East Coast. The smoke is in a low concentration and high up, not posing a threat to air quality on the East Coast. (Steve Sosna/NBC10)

The fires are still burning and thicker, low-altitude smoke on the West Coast led to cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Portland having some of the worst air quality ratings on the planet in recent days.

While making it difficult to breathe, smoke helped firefighters by blocking the sun and turning the weather cooler as they tried to get a handle on the blazes, which were slowing in some places, according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Us