Canadian wildfires send a milky white smoke and haze to Michigan

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 19:23:25-04

WEST MICHIGAN — A day that should have been filled with sunshine and blue sky was plagued by a milky white smoke and haze. The white tinge/hue to the sky is the result of wildfires that have been burning in Alberta Canada. About 700,000 acres have been reported destroyed by fires with our neighbors to the north. The upper level winds tend to carry that smoke eastward and southward into the Upper Midwest and Michigan. It certainly was noticeable with high pressure in control over the region and what should have been clear, blue sky.

The good news? If the smoke/haze can thin a bit, this kind of sky and airborne foreign particles tend to give us some brilliant, vibrant sunsets in bright red and orange. Recall that most/all of the blue wavelengths within the sun’s color spectrum get scattered out. That means, the reds and oranges remain and can make for some very colorful sunsets. The problem is the smoke is still a bit thick. It needs to thin a bit, but may not do so until we continue through the overnight hours. Click here for more on this.

The image attached to this story is from NOAA and is from their high resolution satellite. It passes over the region a couple times each day and takes some super-high resolution images. Note the smoke/haze or white-ish color over Michigan in the image…this is the smoke from Canada. The other clouds in this photo over Wisconsin are diurnal or daytime clouds driven by the heating of the day.  Click here to see more of these images.

Most of this smoke/haze should dissipate on Tuesday as winds switch from the northwest to the southeast. Get the complete West Michigan forecast at