In case you wondered too: Yes, that’s wildfire smoke (UPDATE: sunset photo added)

3:15 PM: The quality of the light outside is a bit reminiscent of late summer. That’s in part because of wildfire smoke that has drifted this way from Alberta. The National Weather Service tweeted a satellite image of the “high-level” smoke this morning, as well as photos of a redder-than-usual rising sun. Air-quality maps don’t show much trouble down here at ground level, though (here’s Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, here’s PurpleAir). The NWS’s latest forecast discussion notes, “Smoke should remain aloft with no major impacts expected at the surface but, could lead to a picturesque sunrise/sunset. For tonight, generally benign conditions are expected. … There’s a possibility we’ll continue to see more smoke/haze into Thursday but winds are showing signs of shifting.” As for the fires themselves, the CBC says almost 100 fires are burning in Alberta.

9:36 PM: It was definitely a summer-smoke type of sunset, as shown in David Hutchinson‘s photo, added above.

13 Replies to "In case you wondered too: Yes, that's wildfire smoke (UPDATE: sunset photo added)"

  • Rhonda May 17, 2023 (3:37 pm)

    That explains the very slight orange/yellow glow around my shadow on the walkway. I thought I was imagining it.

  • Thank you! May 17, 2023 (3:39 pm)

    I love when I come to the WS blog for a question and my answer is right there! Keep up the good work! 

    • JcA May 17, 2023 (4:45 pm)

      Me too! Thanks!

  • KT May 17, 2023 (4:55 pm)

    Have an awful feeling it will be a bad year for smoke fires if it is starting so early.  Good thing we all have those N95 masks handy.

    • bill May 17, 2023 (7:57 pm)

      Wildfires were why we had good masks on hand when covid started.

  • 937 May 17, 2023 (7:20 pm)

    Smoke season already….

  • D-Mom May 17, 2023 (8:49 pm)

    A very telltale sunset tonight. I knew immediately it was smoke. And knew just as well that the WS Blog would have the details. Thank you for always answering my questions and confirming my suspicions. 

    • WSB May 17, 2023 (9:07 pm)

      We was were going to go downhill and photograph the sunset; breaking news changed that plan, but at least one person has kindly sent a pic we’ll be adding.

      • No name May 18, 2023 (10:10 pm)

        We were. Not we was

        • WSB May 18, 2023 (10:22 pm)

          Yeah, I changed the subject in mid-comment from I to we and didn’t adjust the verb. Fixing.

  • J May 17, 2023 (9:53 pm)

    There’s a layer of fine dist/ash on my trashcans when I brought them in and, here at least (Almost down to White Center), it smelled of smoke all day and my throat is bugging me.

  • Steph May 18, 2023 (5:31 am)

    I’m ready to leave the country but since that’s not practical I am taping a Merv filter onto my box fan and adding it to my additional 4  HEPA stand alone air filters! Seattle had clean air for decades.  I was so looking forward to being outside working on my gardens this summer. Now I’m trapped inside again. This is shameful. 

  • James May 18, 2023 (7:40 am)

    This is bad. Climate change is real folks. 

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