August 10, 2017

The Ultimate Wildfire Smoke Video for Puget Sound

Greg Johnson of Skunk Bay Weather has produced a marvelous video from his site on the northern Kitsap Peninsula showing the changing effects of the wildfire smoke during the last week.

What he did was to combine video of the sunrises from late July until today, with the first showing clean air conditions, and the latter ones reflecting the effects of the smoke.   It is just stunning.   Click on the link to check it out.

And now the good news. Friday will be the last day of above normal temperatures for a while. Over the weekend the large scale flow pattern will shift, with much cooler air moving in.

Rain will return.

The smoke will be blown away from Puget Sound.

Clouds will again grace our skies.

And some folks will stop claiming the smoke is a sign of global warming.


Eclipse forecasts.   It is too earlier to do so skillfully, so my first analysis of the eclipse weather will be on Monday.


  1. Yes… stunning just marvelous and of course your spot on Cliff, global warming did not contribute to this.

  2. Cliff
    Do you promise that the smoke will be gone Friday? :)

  3. Heat records are falling all over the Earth. An iceberg the size of Delaware is floating off the coast of Antarctica. Low lying areas on the Eastern Seaboard flood for no apparent reason. What, pray tell, will you take as evidence that global warming is happening. Just want to get you on record.

  4. Global warming is happening period...! We humans are just accelerating this cycle of warming w insane amounts of excess CO2,methane & over consumption of energies...!

  5. Kelly,
    Wunderground has an education article on the SE USA sea level rise anomaly. It is possibly, a combination on the North Atlantic oscillation and El nino.

    It is good to reminder ourselves of the moral behind the "Chicken Little" or the "boy who called wolf" stories..

    It is best to focus on averages and trends not individual events, as we try to understand the actual future impacts of human induced climate change.

  6. The NY Times ran an Opinion piece the other day by someone named Lindy West about how Seattle is choking on smoke, and it was the biggest bag of global warming exaggeration and PNW misunderstanding that I've encountered in some time.

    Her conclusion is that what has been happening with the smoke and warmth in Seattle the last couple of weeks is a preview of what Seattle will be like thanks to future global warming. Even how global warming is turning all our grass brown in summer, and everyone in NY knows we're supposed to always be green out here. Bottom line: we're all going to die choking on smoke as we cook in our browned-out yards.

    Which, of course, generated about 600 supportive comments from New Yorkers who fully understand our weather and the effects of changing climate on our area. NOT.

    What I did learn was that whenever we get irritated with the exaggerations of our local media, we have only to go to New York to find a far more extreme example. Then our local media starts to look rather sane again.

  7. Kelly, in the 7 or 8 years I've been reading this blog I don't recall a single article connecting any weather observation with global warming, and in fact, Cliff has gone out of his way many many times to say "this isn't global warming," "that isn't global warming" even when not really necessary. This includes a post where he talked about how global warming would be a good thing for the Northwest because it would make the weather less dreary (thought perhaps inspire too many people to relocate). He spends far more time criticizing and discrediting climate change articles and "alarmists" than supporting agreed upon science, or even admitting "this could be" a consequence of anthropogenic climate change. I've come to view him as a denier, or at least an enabler of those who wish to shift the blame and downplay the danger. Just take a look at how eagerly the deniers come here and cheer every "this isn't global warming" post and castigate those of us who disagree.

    This is a great, well-written blog by an obviously intelligent expert in the field, but I have gradually quit reading because I find the use of his credibility to downplay the greatest threat to humanity next to nuclear weapons irresponsible and unconscionable.

  8. Dear Cliff, we've appreciated your insights for years, thank you!
    The BC smoke/climate change connection is quite real: The fires are related to the dramatic northward and westward spread of bark beetles as a result of climate change with a noted increased threat for fire in the very area where the fires have occurred. The spread of the bark beetle is well shown on a map provided by Natural Resources Canada which coincides with the fires. It has been waiting to happen for some time. Anyone traveling through this section of BC, as we have, would have noticed this infestation during travel there the past 40 years & the most recent spread. And such insect infestations have also been occurring in Washington & very noticeably in the central to eastern half of the North Cascade Park area which we have observed the past 15 years with its spread. The dead trees are just standing there waiting for .... lightening or anything else. Just a couple resources, of which there are a number:

    Mountain Pine Beetle Factsheet (from Natural Resources Canada website, with map of infestation that coincides with the BC fire range);

    Raffa, K.F., B.H. Aukema, B.J. Bentz, A.L. Carroll, J.A. Hicke, M.G. Turner, and W.H. Romme. 2008. Cross-scale drivers of natural disturbances prone to anthropogenic amplification: the dynamics of bark beetle eruptions. BioScience 58: 501–517

    Best wishes, Lynn & Bill McMillan, Concrete WA

  9. Lynn and Bill,
    From my reading of the literature and talking to folks here at the UW, the bark beetle connection with both fires and global warming is weak. Some paper even suggest less change of fires with forests that have been damaged by the beetles....cliff

    I am neither a skeptic or denier (I do hate those terms...makes it sound like religion). Global is a serious threat and the science is clear. But I do think that folks that exaggerate its effects are doing a big disservice to us all and I believe that society needs the truth and not hype. I have spent several blogs dealing with untruthful information in the media and elsewhere, but I have talked about the expected effects of global warming in many blogs. If you don't want a balanced approach, please read some other blogs where you will feel more comfortable. ....cliff mass

  10. @JohnMarshall - "someone named Lindy West" speaks volumes about your POV.

  11. Hi Matt - ok, then how about Dr. Judith Curry?


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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