Smoke from Siberian wildfire causes hazy skies in south-central Alaska


A National Weather Service meteorologist said Saturday that wildfire smoke from Siberia is spreading into south-central Alaska and causing haze in the Anchorage skies, but it is expected to lighten by the middle of next week.

Hundreds of fierce fires are currently burning in the taiga forests of Siberia and eastern Russia. The haze isn’t too unusual for Anchorage: Smoke from wildfires from Siberia and eastern Russia spread across south-central Alaska skies last summer as well.

“The way those upper winds are set up, they’re basically moving smoke from there into our region,” said Adam Prajepiora, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

He expects those upper winds to subside and the smoke to clear by the middle of next week.

According to Prazepiora, the warmth Anchorage has seen recently can be attributed at least to a “very strong upper-level ridge that has remained in the area for a few days now.” Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport recorded a record high temperature of 76 degrees on Friday, July 16.

Temperatures in Anchorage could reach the upper 70s and hit 80 degrees on Saturday afternoon, especially in the eastern part of the city, Prajepiora said.

Warm and largely sunny weather is expected in Anchorage until Tuesday, when the forecast is calling for the chance of rain.

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