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Canada wildfires to blame for Minnesota's hazy skies


If you've had difficulty locating the sun these past few days – blame Canada.

Minnesota has had a good run of summery weather in recent weeks, but in the past few days certain parts of the state – mainly in the west – may not have noticed it because of a dim haze covering the skies.

The reason? Forest fires in northern Saskatchewan coupled with a wind from the north-west, which according to the Associated Press has been blowing smoke across the Midwest. It's affecting Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and even stretching as far south as Tennessee.

And the haze is likely to continue at least for the next couple of days, the Fergus Falls Journal reports, with a National Weather Service meteorologist saying it could last longer if wildfires continue and wind directions stay the same.

The haze is high in the atmosphere, the newspaper notes, carried by high-altitude winds – though you may not necessarily notice it on Tuesday because of cloud cover across parts of the state.

The Fargo Forum spoke to Jim Kaiser, another NWS meteorologist based out of Grand Forks, who said the smoke is keeping temperatures lower, preventing them from breaking into the 80s.

"This is really thick," he told the newspaper, before adding: "The smoke’s going to be in the Northern Plains for much of the week."

CTV reports hundreds of people in Canada have been evacuated from their homes because of the effects of the 116 ongoing wildfires, which is causing a severe drop in air quality.

The Associated Press notes the smoke-caused haze will continue in Minnesota through Wednesday, but should then start to gradually drift east, potentially reaching the east coast.

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