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Why So Hazy?

Updated: 07/09/2013 4:04 PM
Created: 07/02/2013 8:44 AM KSTP.com

You may have noticed a little haze in the air yesterday. It wasn't from fires in southern MN or northern IA. In fact the fires weren't even burning in either state. Instead the culprit is a combination of fires and high pressure. Here's the break down...

Aside from the tragic fire burning in Arizona, fires were also burning across Alaska, Manitoba, Quebec, and a few across some of the southern states, such as Oklahoma, Kansas, & Arkansas. So you might be asking yourself, how does the smoke from hundreds to thousands of miles away get here? The answer, high pressure.

Unlike low pressure systems (which have unstable, rising air) that bring us our storms, areas of high pressure have stable, sinking air. This type of air mass, with the sinking motion, not only keeps our skies sunny & quiet, but often times traps pollutants and/or smoke in the lower levels of the atmosphere. And if you have a broad enough area of high pressure, and the right wind direction, the smoke can travel along ways, impacting locations no where near the fires.

So this evening, if you notice it is a little hazy, you now know where it's coming from!