BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Wildfires continue raging on the West Coast, as a visual reminder of their magnitude reached the East Coast this week. The sky has been hazy and it's perhaps most noticeable at sunrise and sunset.
"Really makes the sun look like we're on another planet," said WFMZ Meteorologist Drew Anderson.
According to Anderson, smoke from the West Coast fires traveled via jet streams. It's not an uncommon phenomenon. When Mt. St. Helens erupted, particles traveled around the globe for two weeks.
Because the particles have blocked some sunlight, temperatures have been five to 10 degrees cooler than they'd otherwise be.
"It doesn't affect our air quality that much," said John Fox, civil and environmental engineering professor at Lehigh University. He explained that's because the particles are five to 10 miles in the air.
Lehigh Valley Health Network pulmonologist Dr. Joseph Schellenberg said because of that, it's not really a respiratory or allergen threat.
"It's really not at our level, there's no particular matter in the level we breathe," Schellenberg said.
Dr. Andra Garner, a climate change professor at Rowan University, says the volume of smoke locally from wildfires thousands of miles away, though not a threat to local health or air quality, is an obvious reminder that environmental issues far away can quickly come home.
"It's really just kind of showing us that these fires have reached a scale and intensity that we have not really typically seen historically," Garner said.