CADILLAC — Looking up into the summer skies on Monday, one should have seen nothing but blue skies and a few cumulus clouds.
Instead, skies were filled with a smoky haze that blocked the sun’s rays and prevented the formation of clouds.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Boguth said this haze blew over from Canada, where wildfires are raging in several locations near Lake Winnipeg.
Boguth said the smoke was lifted 8,000-10,000 feet into the atmosphere and is currently hovering over large swaths of Michigan.
At this time, it is believed some of the fires in Canada were started by lightning during thunderstorm events in the area.
Wildfire smoke intruding into Michigan from Canada happens somewhat regularly, with the last instance occurring in May, but what makes this event peculiar is how thick the smoke is, owing to the concentration of fires.
“They’re in such remote locations that firefighters are having a hard time getting to them,‘ Boguth said.
Boguth said the haze started to become noticeable Saturday night and by Sunday, it was clearly visible in the sky.
Smoke stuck around all day Monday but Boguth said shifting wind patterns likely will move the haze out of Michigan and back into Canada by Monday night.
The presence of the smoke created overcast-like conditions and dropped temperatures in the Cadillac area by a couple degrees.
It also prevented the formation of cumulus clouds, which are created when temperatures at the surface are able to reach a certain level.
Other than the slight temperature change, Boguth said the clouds likely won’t have any other impact on the region. He said the effect on air quality might become more of a concern closer to the actual fires.
Although it’s possible the fires could continue to spread and send more smoke this way, Boguth said we should be clear the next few days.
Tuesday is expected to be dry with plenty of sunshine before shower/storm chances arrive late Wednesday into Wednesday evening. Some of the storms may be severe with the main threats being damaging winds and large hail, according to the National Weather Service.