Why the Smoke and Haze?

By: Bob French Email
By: Bob French Email

Blue skies over the Brazos Valley took on a hazy shade Tuesday morning. Looking toward the horizon, you could really see how much the smoke and haze lowered visibility. You could even smell the smoke in the air. Several factors have come together to cause the event.

First, high pressure aloft has produced a sinking motion in the atmosphere. That traps pollutants like smoke, car exhaust, and other compounds near the surface. Winds at the surface have also been very light, and it takes stronger winds to disperse the smoke and haze. It's likely that some of the smoke originated in the Brazos Valley as residents take advantage of lower fire danger after the rains.

Even though the winds have been light, they have been from the southwest and could be carrying in smoke from wildfires south of Corpus Christi. A large fire at a lumber yard in Jarrel, between Austin and Waco, could also have contributed some of the smoke.

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