Whitish tinted sky may be smoke from distant fires

+10 degrees vs. average again Wednesday in much of Minnesota

52 average high for MSP Airport

60s the rest of this week

Smoke from distant fires (and cirrus clouds) combining to produce white tinted sky over Minnesota?

Vivid sunsets this week due to fire smoke?

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MNDOT traffic cam shows whitish sky over Minneapolis Wednesday.

Source: MNDOT

Smoky skies?

You may notice a whitish tint to the sky this week over the “Land of Sky Blue Waters.”

A thin veil of cirrus clouds wafted over Minnesota Wednesday, but an assist may go to elevated smoke from distant fires to produce our whitish tinted sky over Minnesota this week.

According to the web site U.S. Air Quality, fires from Kansas & Colorado & the northern Rockies to as far away as Central America may be sending a veil of smoke over Minnesota this week.

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“Beginning as early as sunrise, the HMS team also reported a moderate-to-heavy dense region of smoke/dust over the midwest. Concentrated over eastern Iowa and central Illinois, the plume was progressing sluggishly to the north and east as a low pressure system with its counterclockwise southwest wind flow approached the affected area. The HMS smoke analysis superimposed with NASA’s GEOS-5 model Total Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) forecast indicated elevated AOT aligned with the moderate/heavy smoke (bottom left). In addition, there were reports of light smoke stretching from Missouri to Texas, an area that also experienced raised AOT.

NOAA’s hazard mapping system has identified the haze as smoke. The NRL model predictions are showing additional smoke coming up from Central America and clearing of land is a major source of smoke in spring in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua.”

The smoke particles may bounce and scatter the light from the setting sun to produce some vivid reddish sunsets this week!

Forecast: Classic Spring

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

(Click to enlarge)

More classic spring weather is the rule this week.

This is one of those classic Minnesota weather patterns that gives us reason to live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! Cool crisp mornings and generally sunny milder afternoons will stay with us through Friday.

The next rain chance moves in Saturday, but looks fairly light at this point.

What we need is a good, slow moving low pressure system to sit over Minnesota for about 3-4 days and just dump 3-4 inches of rain on the area.

I don’t see that just yet, but the GFS is hinting at the potential for some soaking rains as we approach next weekend, April14th & 15th. Yes, the (weekend) timing could be better, but we desperately need some serious rain.

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Source: NOAA

Weather fingers and toes crossed!


  • Bobby dole

    Dang I’m running a race on the 14. With my luck it will be cold and rainy.

  • Casey

    PH – Keep up the good work – The information you disseminate on this blog really makes the average cynical Minnesotan appreciate how tough a meteorologist’s job really is in this crazy weather state. I think anyone who visits this blog can appreciate your use of SCIENCE to support your predictions, or explain why your predictions didn’t turn out as the models showed. Great Job, Paul! Keep it up! 5:45pm is a great time to hear you talk about what’s going on with the weather, but it’d be great ir Crann could work you in at the 5:15ish area too – For all the people that have a commute