Red sun in the Borderland caused by smoke blowing in from West Coast fires

El Paso News

El PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As fires continue to burn throughout California and Oregon, the Borderland is feeling the impact from states away.

Photo from KTSM Viewer Gilbert Lujan in Las Cruces

On Sunday, it appeared to be a cloudy day across the Borderland, but according to the National Weather Service, the majority of what you see in the sky is smoke.

KTSM viewers began sending in pictures earlier this week showing the orange-colored sun, especially at sunset.

“One of the reasons why the sun seems a lot more dimmer is due to the scattering of light by this smoke. Smoke acts as an absorption of light which is why we get that reddish tent,” said Connor Dennhardt a Meteorologist for the National Weather Services.

He says temperatures the past few days have been a bit cooler than anticipated due to the smoke covering the sun.

In a graphic from the NOAA, you can see the colors representing smoke heading toward the Borderland from the West Coast.

“Part of it is just a testament to how much smoke these fires are putting out,” said Dennhardt. “At this time we see at least on satellite imagery large swaths of smoke from California to Organ and upper-level winds moving that smoke through Arizona to New Mexico, here in El  Paso and all the way up the central plains, as far east as Michigan at this time. So it’s not just the West Coast that’s seeing effects of the is smoke at this time.”

Dennhardt says by Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, the amount of smoke in the air should start to decrease as the winds shift.

Sun appears red above El Paso

“Thankfully we will be getting some relief over the next week ahead as the upper-level winds shift a little bit and we won’t be getting those west winds from California anymore,” said Dennhardt.

Although, for the next few days the sun will appear dim in the sky, and during sunset, you will still be seeing the sun looking a reddish color.

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