PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It was another day of hazy skies in Pittsburgh as a result of the wildfires out west and experts say they’re not sure when we will see it shine bright again.
While experts say smoke particles are too high up in the atmosphere to cause respiratory problems right now, they do say we could see changes in our climate and stronger storms if these fires continue to rage on.
— Ray Petelin (@RayPetelinWx) September 15, 2020
“The fires themselves are getting more carbon into the atmosphere that’s driving the warming process even more,” said the executive director of Breathe Project Pittsburgh, Matthew Mehalik.
This is what Mehalik says could contribute to climate change, which could affect things like the severity of storms in Western Pennsylvania.
“How much flooding we have potentially, and it can impact the temperature change and changes in rainfall and ability to grow food,” said Mehalik.
The evening weather map shows high pressure building across the region. The high should maintain dry weather over the next couple of days. pic.twitter.com/uwQBIBmerM
— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) September 14, 2020
And short-term, we can already feel the effects.
“The last couple of days, we actually saw temperatures a couple of degrees below what we were expecting, not just a couple days ago,” said Matthew Kramar, a meteorologist with NWS Pittsburgh.
The National Weather Service showed KDKA a satellite view of the hazy film stretching across the U.S., highlighting just how far it has spread in the northeast.
Matthew Kramar says this film could also lead to snowier conditions.
“Smoke is also putting particles into the atmosphere that can lead to ice crystal growth and ice crystal growth can help enhance snow storms,” said Kramar.