California’s Bay Area woke up last Wednesday to what looked like Mars instead of planet Earth.
Orange and in some spots red skies covered Oakland, Berkley, and San Francisco. Also, at one point, ash rained down while the wildfires raged far in the distance.
“When the smoke and ash get even thicker close to the wildfires, it can cut the sunlight out completely, making it look like the dead of night,” CNN’s Judson Jones said.
Locals switched on lights to stare into the wondrous sky that looked like a rusty night.
Unprecedented amount of smoke in the atmosphere as a record number of acres burn across California & the West. From space, you can't even see @KarlTheFog & the marine layer as the smoke extends well out over the Pacific. #CAwx #CAFires #Smoke #BayArea @CAL_FIRE @NOAASatellites pic.twitter.com/hP77TlsDCb
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) September 9, 2020
Strong winds are carrying the wildfire smoke from far away with the North Complex Fire and the Creek Fire scorching the earth from more than 200 miles away, and their presence can even be felt in the Bay Area.
Other spots are also experiencing similar apocalyptic visual shows, such as Salem, Oregon.
To put last night's incredible southwestward run on #BearFire into perspective: a conservative estimate based on current satellite heat detections suggests fire expanded by ~250,000 acres in ~24 hours. Fire now directly threatening Oroville, Hwy 70 corridor. #CAwx #CAfire pic.twitter.com/4J6epC1FyR
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) September 9, 2020
The enormous monsters of smoke born by the wildfires ravaging California have led to the longest stretch of bad air quality in the Bay Area, with 25 days of “Spare the Air” alerts, according to Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokeswoman, Erin DeMerritt. The last record stands at 14 consecutive days during the 2018 Camp Fire.
“The smoke and ash are acting like nature’s version of an Instagram filter,” Jones said. “The particles in the air are refracting sunlight similar to the way small air particles do when the sun sets or rises.”
The miniature pieces scatter all around, and we are unable to see them due to their short wavelengths of blue and green.
The longer wavelengths of red and yellow get through the bottom, giving us this “haunting” effect, according to Jones.
Check out ABC7’s astonishing drone video capturing the majesty of the orange skies below.
The strange skies covering San Francisco, made Sneha Patil feel like she was on another planet.
“It was surreal,” Patil wrote. “It felt like I had woken up to the skies in Mars!”
San Francisco 09.09.20 pic.twitter.com/QdqUtKiqOT
— Zneha (@mithrilmaker) September 9, 2020
Oakland resident Michelle McKeown saw houses in her area with lights on at 10 in the morning.
“It feels eerie, apocalyptic and frightening,” she told CNN. “I’ve lived in the Bay Area since 1988 and never experienced such doom coming from the sky.”
The skies were colored red over a vintage clothing store in Oakland, and although it looked this way, it did not smell like smoke, according to Maya Messoriano, owner of the Mids Eye Vintage store.
“At least it’s finally looking like a proper #apocalypse,” a local music band called Empty Vessel posted on Instagram.
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