Wildfire smoke is on the move, millions in Canada to feel the impacts
Some parts of the country could see hazy days and vibrant sunsets this week.
Canadians across the country could soon see the impacts of a heavy smoke plume from the wildfires burning in western Canada. The smoke is on the move - and Canadians thousands of kilometres away could see the impacts in the coming days.
There are currently 57 active fires burning in British Columbia and 88 wildfires burning in Alberta. These fires are already contributing to the intense smoke and poor air quality across Canada’s northern and western provinces and territories.
This past weekend, southeasterly winds sent the bulk of the smoke northwest - toward northern B.C. and the far north, accounting for a very high risk of poor air quality.
While the greatest concentrations of smoke in the lowest levels of the atmosphere will remain confined to communities closest to the actively burning fires, winds will shift and allow the smoke to travel greater distances as it gets trapped in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere. Strong upper-level winds will then transport the smoke thousands of kilometres west to east across the northern hemisphere.
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Already, signs of the smoke have appeared on satellite imagery across parts of Ontario and western Quebec. Southern Ontario and Quebec are forecast to see relatively clear skies for most of the week, so any sort of haze in the sky that residents might see can be blamed on the wildfire smoke.
A positive aspect of this smoke trapped in the atmosphere is that parts of eastern Canada - including Ontario and Quebec could see more vibrant sunrises and sunsets for the next several days. Red light passes through smoke particles more easily than blue light, giving a brighter, more red appearance during sunrise and sunset.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network for more weather updates for eastern Canada.