Hours after Wednesday’s sunrise, Residents of San Francisco Bay waited for daylight. Instead, they had a smoke-filled sky due to wildfires, with the slightest suggestion that somewhere the sun had risen.
San Francisco: 10am. Simply. Bizarre. “Smoke particles scatter blue light & only allow yellow-orange-red light to reach the surface, causing skies to look orange.” – Air Quality District (video from @LombardiHimself) @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/HZgVFvBLbk
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) September 9, 2020
Somebody called it a nuclear winter…
A “Nuclear Winter” in San Francisco: Forest fires change the landscape of the city
The cars kept their lights on. The office towers in San Francisco, where the smoke mixes with the fog, illuminated as in the middle of the night.
Across Northern California, gigantic columns of smoke from fires that went through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada swelled and spread into the atmosphere, erasing the sun.
Wildfires erase the sun
The Bear Fire, as it is known, was added to the smoke already pumped into the atmosphere by the more than 20 large wildfires that burned throughout California.
Craig Shoemaker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said bear Fire’s immense volume of smoke rose overnight to 12,000 meters where the air is icy.
“We have a huge cloud of ash and ice”
He said, adding that the plume resembled the clouds of thunder.
Wildfires are essentially creating their own climate, Shoemaker said. “Without the smoke, it would be a clear day“, he said. “All of this is generated from the fires”.
The change in wind patterns will begin to push the smoke east, potentially clearing the air near the coast, Shoemaker said, but added a warning.
Earlier in the week, winds blew smoke from wildfires hundreds of miles over the Pacific Ocean.
As they recede, that old smoke will probably be pushed toward the coast.