That's Smoke Over Phoenix — But It's Not Especially Dangerous

By Scott Bourque
Published: Friday, September 11, 2020 - 2:16pm
Updated: Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 10:04am

The view of downtown Phoenix
Katie Campbell/KJZZ
A view of downtown Phoenix from Tempe on Sept. 11, 2020.

Is it cloudy? Or is it smoky? 

The hazy skies over Phoenix on Friday look and feel like overcast clouds, but the haze is smoke from West Coast wildfires being blown east due to a high pressure system off the Pacific Coast.

While it likely won’t cause the dramatic orange skies that San Francisco is seeing this week, smoke from the wildfires will continue to drift over Arizona through much of the weekend.

Meteorologist Matthew Pace with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality said most of the smoke is high enough in the atmosphere that it is not creating hazardous air pollution conditions on the ground. 

The air quality index should stay yellow, or moderate, for most of the weekend, with ozone and particulate matter levels below federal health standards.

By Sunday, winds from the east should clear most of the smoke.

Phoenix hazy sky red sunrise
A hazy sky makes the rising sun look red in Phoenix on Sept. 8, 2020.

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