Hazy Skies in the Midwest

Hazy Skies in the Midwest

Plumes of smoke have spread throughout the skies of Ontario since the beginning of July 2021 due to a group of large wildfires burning along the border with Manitoba. Now the skies in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota have also grown hazy as a shift in wind direction sent plumes of smoke south into the United States.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-20 spacecraft captured this natural-color image of the smoke on July 11, 2021.

The incoming smoke prompted the U.S. National Weather Service office in Duluth to issue an air quality alert for parts of northeastern Minnesota. However, the extra particles in the atmosphere (aerosols) have contributed to what one pair of Minnesota-based meteorologists described as “marvelous” sunsets and sunrises.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using VIIRS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE, GIBS/Worldview, and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). Text by Adam Voiland.

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