Update 5:00 p.m. Wednesday 5-24-23 – Thanks to a cold front passage Wednesday, the haze from the Canadian wildfires that has been in the sky above CNY for the better part of the last 3 or 4 weeks has been pushed to the south. Thanks to a large, strong area of high pressure building in late this week into the holiday weekend we don’t think it comes back through at least Friday/Saturday.
Thankfully, the smoke has been aloft and isn’t a concern for people down on the ground.
SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – The haziness you’ve seen in the skies over Central New York the past 3 or 4 weeks has been some smoke courtesy of wildfires in Western Canada.
The smoke has been giving us some nice-looking sunsets/sunrises. Here’s a great one from our Towercam in downtown Syracuse earlier this month.
Over 100 separate wildfires have so far caused more than two and a half million acres to burn in Western Canada, mainly in Northwest Alberta Province. According to the CBC news as of Tuesday afternoon 74 wildfires continue to burn down from 84 on Monday. Around 10,000 people continue to wait to return to their homes after being evacuated from the fires.
The conditions for the fires were set up by an unusually warm and dry pattern much of the northern half of the country has been in for the better part of the month of May. At the end of April while CNY was wet and in the 50s, it was sunny and dry with temperatures exceeding 80 degrees in parts of Alberta. This heat broke some record temperatures and helped spark wildfires.
Once the smoke rose high enough into the atmosphere, jet stream winds carried the smoke across Northwest Canada then south over Hudson Bay and eventually into the Northeast more often than not the past nearly month.
The smoke is drifting at more than 20,000 feet and again thankfully will not cause any health issues to anyone with respiratory ailments in Central New York.
Thankfully, Mother Nature is providing the Alberta province with cooler air and about 2 to 3 inches of rain this week. These cooler and wetter conditions are helping firefighters as they continue to try to gain more control over the wildfires.