Wildfire Smoke Could Intensify Eastern Sunsets

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
June 29, 2012; 1:58 AM
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"One thing to be said for smoke and ash - they make for pretty sunsets," posted Flickr user NoIdentity with above photo.

As numerous wildfires continue to burn across the western United States, their smoke could cause some interesting sunsets in the East.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., a large area of smoke in the atmosphere has begun to drift eastward. The blanket of smoke is now visible with satellite imagery across the U.S., with the leading edge reaching as far as Pennsylvania and New York.

"The sunset tonight could be interesting if this smoke progresses far enough to the east," the NWS said on their FaceBook page.

AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Mark Paquette agrees.

"Additional particles in the sky, in this case smoke, can scatter the sun's rays more than normal when the sun angle is low, such as during sunset," Paquette said. "This can cause a more spectacular showing of reds than normal."

The smoke is moving quickly, however, and could clear by tomorrow.

"It is associated with the low pressure system and front that is going to sweep through tonight," Paquette said. "Tonight is probably the only night in the next couple of days we may have it, but it could come in again if we have a similar weather setup over the next few weeks."

If you see a beautiful sunset, send us your pictures! Tweet your photos to @breakingweather or upload them on our AccuWeather.com Fan Page.

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