Recent milky skies in Minnesota caused by Kansas grassfires

What a nice couple of days it has been! But the warm weather came with some eerily milky skies.  Reminded me a little bit of when the skies went dark over New York City in the movie Ghostbusters.  Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but we have certainly lost our once pristine blue skies of early week.  This is because our winds turned out of the south.  So not only did our southerly winds draw in warmer air, but it also pulled in some smoke from fairly persistent grass fires in the southern plains.  You can even see them on satellite…

Fires have been raging across parts of Kansas and Oklahoma with one of the worst grass fire seasons in state history.  Well, unfortunately it gives us some poor air quality.  Check out areas that were dealing with smoke on Thursday…

Much of the Upper Midwest has some smoke in the atmosphere.  Now by Friday, this computer model shows smoke particulates fading away and overall air quality improving…

BUT, some of the experts disagree with that analysis and I’m inclined to side with them for 2 reasons.  First, our wind direction doesn’t change over the next couple of days.  Second, widespread rain isn’t expected in Kansas until sometime over the weekend which would give us AT LEAST a couple more days of smoke.  Here is what the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows for air quality conditions Thursday afternoon, and their forecast for the next few days…

They actually have air quality falling slightly into the weekend before drastic improvements come Monday because of Sunday showers and a cold front that will bring in a different air mass.  Makes sense to me… so I would expect the continued milky skies through Sunday.

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