Smoke From Fires Changing Weather In KELOLAND

Smoke in the atmosphere has more of an effect than just turning the sun red and making the sky a little hazy. 

There was a lot of smoke in the sky this weekend. 

Even the fire near Hot Springs had a smoke plume large enough to be seen from space!

Smoke in the atmosphere can also cause air quality problems. Just this last weekend, Minnesota was under an air quality alert because of the dense smoke.

Smoke from fires can also cause slightly cooler temperatures because it can block the sun's energy.

This is a graph from the SDSU state climatologist about solar radiation at local surface stations. The graph on the left shows a sharp drop off of solar radiation due to passing clouds. The graph on the right shows a clear decrease of solar radiation through the whole day, due to the smoke. 

The decrease in solar radiation causes reduced temperatures. From a forecasters perspective, we usually forecast the daily high without the smoke and shave off about 2 to 4 degrees to adjust for the smoke.

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