Siberia blaze delivers Alaska haze

Aug 16, 2021

Haze over Prince William Sound, near Seward.
Credit Courtesy of Arctic Fox Adventures

The skies over Southcentral Alaska are hazy with smoke. But it’s not from any nearby fires. 

The haze is blowing east from wildfires in Siberia, amid one of the worst wildfire seasons Russia has ever experienced.

“The whole northern hemisphere is burning right now. But the wildfires in Siberia are particularly bad this year," said Mike Lawson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

“And then as far as us seeing smoke in our neck of the woods, the jet stream just naturally goes from west to east and brings that over us," he added.

But, he said, the smoke from the fires is high up in the atmosphere. So it's not creating a breathing hazard.

"It pretty much just gives us some pretty sunsets," Lawson said.

He said rain in the forecast tonight should briefly clear the smoke in Southcentral. But Alaska may continue to see hazy skies until Siberia’s own winter season comes.