California residents are fearing impending doom as wildfire smoke has shifted the skies to an ominous orange hue across the Bay Area hundreds of miles away.
The wildfire smoke turned the skies a yellowish hue on Tuesday but the skies have since turned noticeably darker in color, shifting to an eerie orange worthy of a dystopian sci-fi thriller.
Particles in the air are refracting sunlight, scattering the shorter wavelengths of blue and green light, allowing red and yellow to pass through, causing the orange glow.
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said that extremely dense and tall plumes of smoke from the surrounding wildfires were “almost completely blocking out the sun” while generating“nocturnal pyrocumulunimbus clouds” or fire thunderstorms.
Swain postulated that a hitherto unseen “smoke cyclone” may also be forming over the area.
The Bay Area has experienced 25 straight days of “Spare the Air” alerts, the longest period of unhealthy air quality on record, almost doubling the previous record of 14 consecutive days during the 2018 Camp Fire.
Ralph Borrmann, a spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, has warned residents that these skies may linger for some time, as “Not a lot of change is expected” in atmospheric conditions in the short term.