We're finally getting to enjoy some dry weather, but it's starting to get hazy outside without the rain to help wash away pollutants. The haze is particularly thick in valleys where the smoke particles can settle in. Where are the smoke particles coming from? Mostly Western Canada!
The stiff northerly wind that has been pulling in drier air is also pulling in wildfire smoke from the British Columbia province of Canada. Wildfires have prompted evacuation orders and air quality alerts over the past week across the province.
All of the smoke billowing up from these fires has been caught by the upper -level wind flow of the atmosphere, which carries it south and east into the United States. The set-up we find ourselves under this week, with high pressure to the west and low pressure to the east, guides the smoke straight into Alabama.
The hazy skies likely stick around through the end of the week before we see a shift in our weather pattern. Some spotty showers here-and-there Friday and Saturday will help wash away some of the particulates, but a better chance of rain and a change in our wind flow will occur at the beginning of the week. That will take the smokiness out of the air, but it also brings our next good shot at stormy weather.
A slow-moving cold front slides into Alabama from the northwest Sunday evening, and a southerly flow from the Gulf of Mexico brings a surge of tropical moisture northbound to meet it. Those two factors give us good confidence in more clouds, more showers and some thunderstorms from Monday through Wednesday of next week.