Hazy shade of summer
July 7, 2002 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Hazy shade of summer Days like today remind me our world is indeed small. Here in the Northeast US the sun never broke through the haze. More forest fires, only these were in Quebec. I had friends as far south as New Jersey notice. How'd the day look to you?
posted by jeremias (33 comments total)
Thanks for the post jeremias. I was a bit confused when I awoke this morning to smell smoke here in Central New Jersey (with no news of fire). Also got a call from my sister near Harrisburg, PA and she asked what was on fire!
posted by mad at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2002

Yeah, I just saw an item about it on the news. I first noticed it about mid-morning in Boston when everything had this surreal glow - kinda like the yellow-lensed glasses I wore in HS. Then I went out to walk the dog around 2pmish and looked at the sun. It was red and shroud in a misty haze. When I got back to the house I looked all over the Web to see if some sort of astronomical event was going on. Really trippy.
posted by bkdelong at 7:21 PM on July 7, 2002

It was indeed very creepy around here all day. All the birds and animals (including our indoor ones) seemed to think it was perpetual dusk, and were very agitated all day.
posted by yhbc at 7:26 PM on July 7, 2002

I swear to god the sky was green over DC today.
posted by NortonDC at 7:28 PM on July 7, 2002

Sheesh.. no wonder when I went to Sherkston Beach in Canada today... the air felt burnt and somewhat like charcoal... I had fun nonetheless ;-)
posted by spidre at 7:29 PM on July 7, 2002

it was much more yellow yesterday, today just looked like a high smog summer day.
posted by isobars at 7:32 PM on July 7, 2002

It was strange, last night about 2am I smelled smoke, and panicked a little (we used to have fires in our apartment building a little too frequently for my taste.)

Then I remembered that the bar around the corner had blown up the day before, and thought it was just the remnants of it (2 people were badly burned and the smoke was thick and dark.)

Unfortunately, the last time I really woke up and worried about that smell was September 11th. It brought back some memories, none of them good.
posted by ltracey at 7:35 PM on July 7, 2002

I swear to god the sky was green over DC today.

It was! I thought we were due for a bad thunderstorm, and took in all the patio stuff... but not even a drop of rain. Towards sundown, you could see the sun burn orange through the gunky sky.
posted by crunchland at 7:36 PM on July 7, 2002

Oh my... no wonder the sun looked... really really wierd too. I was looking at it, and although it was a beautiful sunset in it's own right, it seemed out of place for some reason. Maybe it was because I was drunk at the time to notice much of anything that was out of place.
posted by spidre at 7:38 PM on July 7, 2002

Plenty of sunshine here in San Fran. West side is the best side! :)
posted by swank6 at 7:39 PM on July 7, 2002

This is obviously Canada's way of paying us back for all the acid rain.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2002

We're getting it from all sides in North Dakota... forest fires in the Black Hills, Tetons, and Rockies, plus isolated prarie fires consuming entire small villages. :p Humidity when I got up this morning was 90%. Couple that with all the particulate matter in the atmosphere acting as condensation nuclei, and we've had some hellish tstorms as well.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:45 PM on July 7, 2002

I swear to god the sky was green over DC today

It was orange this morning in Boston's Metrowest area, changing to yellow around mid-day with scattered mauve in the afternoon. I can't wait to see what color it's going to be tomorrow.
posted by dchase at 7:45 PM on July 7, 2002

Bizzare colors, especially early this morning, in New Hampshire. Diffuse yellow sunlight. Reminded me of looking through a pair of Blue Blockerz sometime in the 80s. It seemed to clear up this afternoon, then around 7 pm it started to get real thick again.
posted by anathema at 7:55 PM on July 7, 2002

Today the DC sky looked like...
Hue: -15
Saturation: -35%

But I didn't smell any smoke.
posted by brownpau at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2002

It was yellow and hazy and the whole world looked muted.

And once I got out to walk around Montreal, the smell was that of a wood fire, but breathing in the smoke got old after a while. The Air Quality board in the metro said that it was a 78 today. Anything over 50 is Bad.
posted by juliebug at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2002

I can see and smell the smoke in all the way down in southern Delaware. For awhile I thought it was trash burning day. Amazingly, it's reached even further south to North Carolina.
posted by samsara at 8:35 PM on July 7, 2002

Like dchase, I saw bright orange this morning -- I woke up and I had to look outside because the sun in my livingroom was orange. I looked at the sun and it was a flat orange disc in a milky sky, and I thought, Okay, we've screwed the environmental pooch this time. I worry that environmental change will be in the way of a sudden collapse rather than gradual change (or gradual change leading up to collapse), and that we're not set up as a society to deal with problems that seem like they're creeping up and then happen all at once...then when they do happen, they may be difficult or impossible to fix...eep!
posted by lisatmh at 8:38 PM on July 7, 2002

I'm in Boston (actually, Medford) and I, too noticed the yellow haze this morning. It gave a strange, surreal feel to the entire day.
posted by bshort at 8:47 PM on July 7, 2002

Was in Harrisburg this morning and it smelled like a forest fire. Not just the haze and smoke, but the lingering smell... very unsettling.
posted by anildash at 8:48 PM on July 7, 2002

Today looks better than a few days ago here in rural CA - helicopters and planes were flying overhead back and forth and circling - hopped in the car to discover that a grass fire was spreading just a MILE down the road from our house. Two helicopters flying back and forth for five hours, two planes, a few tankers and other vehicles got the smallish fire under control though - nothing huge like in Canada right now, but very unnerving for the closeness! (Considering that we're NYers and used to WET climates, we didn't really know how 'well' this was going to go when we first discovered what was going on - but the firefighters really know what they're doing - it's impressive.) A few years ago when they had all the fires on the coast in big sur, we had the dark skies, the smoke, and a neat thing - a huge, bright ORANGE moon one night. Anyway - I don't think I ever experienced forest fire smoke growing up in NY (upstate) - very strange!
posted by thunder at 9:15 PM on July 7, 2002

a couple summers ago in austin, we got to ride the bus for free constantly (every day was ozone day) due to some raging grass fires in mexico. didn't see the sun for weeks at a time.
posted by mlang at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2002

Just looking at this thread, and the link goes to an article titled "Russia proposes sending team to Mars". Anyone care to post a link to the original article?
posted by jozxyqk at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2002

No no, that's the right link: it's hazy here because of dust storms on Mars. Them's some pretty bad dust storms. ;)
posted by brownpau at 9:57 PM on July 7, 2002

About 12:30 Saturday night I woke up screaming "What the hell's going on?" repeatedly. My husband told me "Canada is on fire." I started to panic before I realized there's a really big lake seperating me and Canada.
posted by sadie01221975 at 10:14 PM on July 7, 2002

You can imagine my surprise when I logged on to weather.com and saw the forecast for Buffalo NY as "Smoke". After doing a double-take, then reading the explanation, the surreal greyness outside made a lot more sense.

I guess this gives us a pretty good preview of the kind of smog we can look forward to in a few years. Woo-freakin'-hoo.
posted by dotComrade at 2:35 AM on July 8, 2002

jozxyqk: The original article is probably cached on anyone's browser who read it last night (it still comes up for me, with the same url), but here's this morning's Boston Globe article on the phenomenon.
posted by yhbc at 4:48 AM on July 8, 2002

The smoke, moving at about 12,000 feet above sea level, was forced south by a low-pressure system in Maine

Ah, that explains why I didn't see anything much.
posted by JanetLand at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2002

Growing up in smogbound LA, I looked out my DC window and it looked vaguely familiar, but I could figure out why. When I took the trash out, it smelled vaguely familiar too. It was only in the mid afternoon, when I turned on my car radio that it cleared up (mentally, that is). It's still hazy this morning.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2002

I really don't see what the big deal is about. This happens all the time out West and it doesn't get a bit of attention. Once again the Eastern controlled media corporations alienate the West.
posted by dreamer98 at 9:03 AM on July 8, 2002

This happens all the time out West and it doesn't get a bit of attention.

Well, see there you go. Anything out of the ordinary gets coverage. Maybe you're used to it, but here in Boston we just don't usually wake up to yellowish haze that obscures the skyline from just five miles away. That makes it news.

What I want to know is why the fact that 150,000 or so acres of Quebec were on fire went completely un-covered in the local media before yesterday, not even in the Boston Globe, which usually has pretty decent Canadian coverage (maybe their Canadian bureau was on vacation...).

Here's a satellite photo of the smoke over New England (you have to look carefully, and it looks like Maine was also covered by real clouds).
posted by agaffin at 10:08 AM on July 8, 2002

Visibility in Harrisburg was so poor that the city fireworks display was postponed until tonight.
posted by mattee at 4:45 PM on July 8, 2002

agaffi, if there's any answer to your media question it's that the fires are far away from cities and towns except for a few native villages. Really way off the beaten track even for Canadian media, who finally got on the story Sunday midday and let us know what was going on. (Here in Montreal the sky was yellow all day and you could definitely smell wood smoke on the air. It's 500 miles at least from here to where the fires are.)
posted by zadcat at 4:47 PM on July 8, 2002

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