Add “smokestorm” to “fire tornado” and “fire tsunami” on the list of terms we’re likely to hear more of as climate change fuels massive forest fires, particularly in the American West. From Joe Romm:
As of Monday morning, Spokane, Washington’s air quality is worse than Beijing and Delhi combined.
Surrounded on three sides by warming-driven wildfires, Seattle is also experiencing its worst air quality on record, according to Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Washington University. On Sunday, Mass warned that “a smokestorm is imminent for western Washington.”
In Eastern Washington, the air is literally “hazardous.” At 7:15 a.m. local time Monday, Spokane’s Regional Health District tweeted out that “Spokane is waking to ‘hazardous’ or maroon category for air quality.” That means, “At this level, everyone should be staying indoors.”
For a detailed look at air pollution from wildfires, check out this report Climate Central posted last week.