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Are you affected by the west coast wildfires?   The Healthy You: Health and Fitness Polls

Started Sep-12 by Showtalk; 911 views.
Showtalk

Poll Question From Showtalk

Sep-12

Are you affected by the west coast wildfires?
  • Yes, the air is very bad where I live6  votes
    33%
  • Yes, the air is worse than usual due to smoke0  votes
    0%
  • Somewhat2  votes
    11%
  • No, I have not been affected2  votes
    11%
  • I have been affected by fires in other areas1  vote
    5%
  • No, I live too far away from the fires7  votes
    38%
  • Other0  votes
    0%
Yes, the air is very bad where I live 
Yes, the air is worse than usual due to smoke 
Somewhat 
No, I have not been affected 
I have been affected by fires in other areas 
No, I live too far away from the fires 
Other 

Not directly. However, for 2 evenings in a row I have been able to look directly at the blood-red sun without eye damage when it is within about 15 degrees of the horizon, thanks to all the smoke in the stratosphere that has been moving east.

The sky straight overhead looks clear, and it looks clear to the east. But stars are very hard if not impossible to see in the west.

I'll probably try and get some pictures of this tomorrow afternoon.

It is kind of reminescent of late May of 1980 in the days after Mt St Helens blew up. We didn't get any ash this far east but we had some incredibly interesting looking sunsets. I also remember being able to look straight at the setting sun then, and being near the peak of a sunspot cycle, I could see huge blotches of sunspots with the naked eye and no filters needed.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-13

Do you think smoke has gone toward you? It has to go somewhere.

kizmet1

From: kizmet1 

Sep-13

Mentioning Mt St Helens made me stop and compare. I watched it from my BR window in NE Portland. Ash came down all over the cars. Sky was dark and dreary out. Sort of a grey.
This time I have not found ash outside but others in various cities have. Must be due to wind direction?. It is not grey out.
In the AM yesterday (Saturday) the air smelled like a BBQ. Visability was not bad. Walking from one store to another I noticed a shortness if breath I have not had except when hiking a mountain and trying to keep up with people with longer legs.
Coming home visability on the freeway had decreased quite a bit and the air was "thick".
Being in the house is very comfortable.
Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-13

I saw two of the Oregon fires merged. There is a third one above them.  All on the eastern side of the state. Is there any chance of rain?

kizmet1

From: kizmet1 

Sep-13

don't know. News not on for a few hours.
  • Edited September 13, 2020 4:52 pm  by  kizmet1

Well, as a 12 year old I knew that the nuclear fallout from all the major cities on the West Coast would drift over a thousand miles east. Most times of the year, it goes north of Midland-Odessa, with the main fallout plume from the ruins of San Diego going over Amarillo, which itself is a primary target due to the Pantex nuclear weapons assembly plant there. The ruins of Los Angeles end up usually around the Oklahoma Panhandle, overlaid by the fallout from Albuquerque. El Paso's fallout would also pass a little north of us, mostly dropping onto Hobbs NM and Lubbock.

But, we know about air circulation patterns now than we did in 1971. So the fine particulate catches the jet stream and is carried thousands of miles, depending on exactly where it meanders that particular day.

And stratospheric wind tends to naturally flow from west to east.

When I learned to fly, the wind correction vectors were nearly always for winds aloft trending generally west-southwest to east-northeast, with a few weird days that actually flowed backwards.

I noticed the same thing when we tracked a mylar high altitude balloon in February. It was detected near Midkiff, and we tracked it westward over Midland, Odessa, Monahans, and then southwards just west of Ft Stockton and all the way down to Big Bend National Park before the signal was lost.

So I'm pretty sure the haze is from California fires, since I've tracked several high altitude balloons launched from the Bay Area that ultimately ended up over the Permian Basin after 48 to 72 hours, cruising around 37,000 to 41,000 feet.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-14

I checked with someone and the particles eventually fall to the ground and are absorbed.

Showtalk said:

I checked with someone and the particles eventually fall to the ground and are absorbed.

Eventually. Just like eventually, the particles from the Chixulub asteroid strike did fall to the ground and were absorbed. The coarser ones re-entered the earth's atmosphere probably within 90 minutes or so all around the world, turning the sky into a searing radiant hot inferno and igniting secondary fires everywhere. Then the finer soot and micrometeorite sized dust blocked out the sun for weeks, causing most of that initial heat to radiate out into space and bringing about a scaled up version of a "nuclear winter".

The finer particles such as the smallest smoke, took years to reach the ground.

Some of the smoke from the west coast is likely to circle the earth several times, and detectable amounts will be around for years, but most of the visible stuff does get brought to earth, usually by providing nucleation points for water droplets and snowflakes to form around.

It is usually precipitation that provides the meteorological mechanism to bring smoke and very fine dust out of the air to the ground.

This is augmented by the steady drizzle of micrometeorites from deep space that slam into the atmosphere. Each of these tiny bits of solid matter act like "a disturbance in the Force" - something that loose water molecules, already chilled to a low mobility but remaining vapor due to physical distance between them, something to latch onto.

Once this begins to take place, the particle, usually a tiny snowflake, continues to collect more water molecules until it is heavy enough that gravity finally overcomes Brownian molecular collisions, and it starts coming down.

Once there is collectively enough moisture in the air to build these flakes up into visible condensation clouds, and enough to keep building up enough size to drop to the lower atmosphere, then either the snowflakes melt and fall to earth as rain, or if it is cold enough, they drift all the way to the surface as snow.

Then in some parts of the world such as Antarctica, it never gets warm enough for the snowflakes to melt even in summer, so they just slowly accumulate year after year, until the weight and pressure compress them into ice.

It is these ice cores that give us a well preserved picture of what kind of particles have been circulating around the world in past years and centuries and millennia, as the original particles remain trapped in the layers of ice when they were brought all the way to the ground. With certain seasonal particles marking years like rings on a tree, we can count the years in a core sample and carefully analyze the particles trapped in each layer.

Thus we see radionuclides abruptly appear in the ice record in 1945, we see the ash from Mt Krakatoa from the 19th century, and other events such as the industrial revolution and increased coal use also in the 19th century.

Showtalk
Staff

From: Showtalk 

Sep-15

The ecosystem is very complicated.

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