PHOTOS: California wildfire smoke causes vibrant sunsets in St. Louis


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Smoke wildfires burning about 2,000 miles away from the greater St. Louis area is now effecting our skies, according to the National Weather Service. 

If you've happened to be awestruck by the bright colors of the sunset in recent nights, you have the West Coast fires that burned millions of acres and forced thousands from their homes to sarcastically thank. A photo of sunset on Sunday night was tweeted out by the NWS of St. Louis, who stated the "combination of cirrus clouds and wildfire smoke aloft" made more some beautiful views. 

"The thing with wildfires is that the smoke puts a lot of extra particles up in the atmosphere. So now we're getting the red scattering over even more of those particles, and you can get some amazing red sunsets during wildfires," a meteorologist explains.

A combination of cirrus clouds and wildfire smoke aloft led to some unusually vibrant sunset colors around St. Louis this evening. Did you catch a glimpse? #MOwx #ILwx

— NWS St. Louis (@NWSStLouis) September 14, 2020

They've been tracking the smoke that's been swept 30,000 feet above the ground and moved by strong winds across the state where it's dispersed as far away as New York. The smoke could be seen obscuring the sun, creating hazy conditions in the New York City area on Monday and Tuesday.

However, it won't affect the air we breathe and you're not going to be able smell smoke either, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’ St. Louis forecast office Carney told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here's another perspective. You can see smoke moving over the northern U.S. Rockies, into the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. A second area of smoke is caught in southwest flow moving across the southern Plains into Missouri and Illinois. #stlwx #mowx #ilwx #midmowx

— NWS St. Louis (@NWSStLouis) September 13, 2020

The flames up and down the West Coast have destroyed neighborhoods, leaving nothing but charred rubble and burned-out cars, forced tens of thousands to flee and cast a shroud of smoke that has given Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, some of the worst air quality in the world.

The smoke filled the air with an acrid metallic smell like pennies and spread to nearby states. While making it difficult to breathe, it helped firefighters by blocking the sun and turning the weather cooler as they tried to get a handle on the blazes, which were slowing in some places.

But warnings of low moisture and strong winds that could fan the flames added urgency to the battle. 

See some other photos of bright St. Louis sunsets in recent nights:

Sunset right before landing in St Louis --

— Susan Polgar (@SusanPolgar) September 13, 2020

We got a nice sunset from the california smoke east of St. Louis. (@RichardRobben22) September 14, 2020

Beautiful sunset over Washington University this evening @WUSTL #stl #mowx #washu #wustl

— Brent Pearson (@b_pearson) September 14, 2020

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