As wildfires continue to rage across parts of Alberta, Canada, smoke from the blazes is reaching beyond North America. The NOAA-20 satellite’s VIIRS instrument saw smoke approaching the British Isles on June 2, 2019.
The jet stream, which pushes air masses from west to east, carried the wildfire smoke thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean over the course of a few days, explained Scott Bachmeier, a research meteorologist with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
As the gale-force low, seen in the imagery above, began to organize and intensify, Bachmeier said that “it entrained some of that smoke into its circulation.”
While the smoke contributed to hazy skies across parts of the United Kingdom, it also produced some spectacular pink and red sunsets.
“The smoke particles scatter blue light, leaving only red light which gives the sky its notable appearance,” the UK Met Office explained on Twitter.
This image was captured by the NOAA-20 satellite's VIIRS instrument, which scans the entire globe twice daily at a 750-meter resolution. The VIIRS sensor provides high-resolution visible and infrared imagery of Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans, and helps atmospheric scientists monitor severe weather events such as hurricanes and tropical storms.