Jetstream winds from the west that are carrying smoke over 2,000 miles from California and Oregon will gradually darken the sky over Maine in the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.
“It gives the sky, for lack of a better term, a smoky appearance,” said Michael Clair, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Gray. “Right at this hour it is not showing much, but on the satellite you can see it.”
This year California wildfires have been shattering records for the most area burned — more land than the state of Connecticut — and five of the top 10 biggest blazes in that state’s state history were still burning as of Saturday, when 15,000 firefighters were battling 28 major wildfires across the state.
The smoke they generated is slowly rolling into Maine. As of 4 p.m., radar showed smoke covering the southern two-thirds of Maine, from just south of Moosehead Lake to the coastline. That will probably change over the next few days, as the radar shows a heavier cloud of smoke heading this way, with the heaviest clouds arriving over Maine on Tuesday afternoon, Clair said.
“It will be light gray. When you look, right above you is the bluest spot you see. You’ll see more and more smoke as you’re looking anywhere else,” he said.
Sunrises and sunsets over the next few days will come closest to Martian hues, a deeper orange to reddish color than usual. If the smoke gets really thick, the sun might disappear behind the smoke as its setting, Clair said.
It is impossible to predict how smoke will flow into Maine beyond Tuesday because the fires haven’t created it yet, Clair said, but wind patterns indicate that by the end of the week, more northerly gusts, mostly out of Canada, will replace the winds coming into Maine now from the west.