Currently 59°F in Riverside (Orangecrest), California, USA
59°F
66°F / 59°F
4 mph NE
0.00"
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:36 AM PDT

Persistent veil of smoke over region begins to subside

By Reginald Stanley. Posted September 18, 2020, 10:26 PM.



Hazy, smoky days that began early in September - caused by the eruption of numerous large wildfires across the west coast - has finally started to lift from the region Thursday.

An abnormally severe heat wave combined with Santa Ana Winds during the first week of September, which itself had come after a very hot August, helped set the stage for critical fire conditions across the state. Smoke from the wildfires has remained trapped in both the upper atmosphere and near the surface, reducing visibility and resulting in unhealthy air quality statewide for nearly two weeks. The smoke had become thick enough to give the appearance of overcast skies on some days, during which the sun struggled to shine through. The El Dorado Fire, which started on September 5th and continues to burn in the San Bernardino National Forest northeast of Yucaipa, claimed the life of a firefighter on Thursday this week. Much larger wildfires continue to burn in northern and central California, which had started in August.

The region saw the return of hot weather again this week. A short break in the heat is expected beginning this weekend, before warming resumes mid-week under upper level high pressure.

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