Western Wildfires Affecting Visibility in South Dakota
The beautiful sunsets in South Dakota have come at a price from regions far away, where wildfires are consuming the land. If the sky appears to be hazy across South Dakota, wildfires burning in California are a major contributor to the conditions, compacted by more fires across the western U.S. and Canada.
The smoke is carried into the Upper Midwest by jet stream winds aloft. Ryan Leake with the National Weather Service says it's not surprising that the haze is here again this summer, but this year it's more intense than recent years.
"We've seen bouts of it throughout the summer, hazy skies here and there, but we're actually seeing reduced visibility down to four to five miles in areas of Aberdeen, Pierre. We're just going to be in the same pattern for several days. We're not seeing a change in this overall jet stream and weather pattern."
Leake says a pattern shift in the upper level winds could happen early next week, which would mean gradually improving visibility across South Dakota.