Western Apocalyptic Skies



The out-of-control wildfires raging through the west coast of the U.S. are generating the kind of gloomy news scenes that are often depicted in post-apocalyptic films. The smoke from the fires have shrouded many cities with a thick, orange haze reminiscent of the atmospheric conditions on Mars or even some hellish exoplanet that is too close to its sun. According to experts, these are the largest wildfires recorded in the continental US since 1910. The density of smoke, particularly in the lowest parts of the atmosphere, has all but obscured the sun in many cities, turning the morning hours into an eerie zombie-like twilight:

Extremely dense & tall smoke plumes from numerous large wildfires, some of which have been generating nocturnal pyrocumulunimbus clouds ('fire thunderstorms), are almost completely blocking out the sun across some portions of Northern California this morning.
--UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain