A rare weather pattern is bringing California wildfire smoke to Indiana skies

Some unusual weather could bring smoke from the latest California wildfires all the way to Indiana.

At least seven people have died as three huge blazes have scorched Northern California in recent weeks. The fires, many caused by lightning strikes, have burned more than 1.2 million acres, USA Today reported.

Smoke has traveled as far as Iowa, where Des Moines-area residents saw a hazy sunrise on Tuesday morning.

Meteorologist Aaron Updike said a rare weather pattern sucked up the wildfire smoke over mountain ranges then into Canada before shooting it off toward the Midwest.

“It’s going to be hitting Northern Indiana and Ohio (Tuesday),” Updike said. 

Smoke particles are stuck in the upper atmosphere and won’t affect those of us who live and breathe at ground level, Updike said.

It will change the sky’s color, especially during sunrise and sunset.

“It makes a cool phenomenon in the sky that is interesting to watch, if you’re into that,” Updike said.

For now, Hoosiers in the northern parts of the state have the best chance to see the smoke.

Updike said there is a chance the weather changes and brings a little of the smoky skies towards Indianapolis.

“Anything you get in the Midwest is going to be small scale,” Updike said. 

Another weather phenomenon, Hurricane Laura, was still gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, USA Today reported. It is expected to make landfall Louisiana and Texas late Wednesday, bringing with it winds of at least 111 mph.

Laura’s aftermath will have some impact on Indiana’s weather in the coming days. Updike said Hoosiers should see more precipitation added to the rain already heading to Indiana by Thursday.

Expect sunny skies and highs in the low 90s Tuesday and Wednesday.

There’s a 40 percent chance of storms on Thursday when the high temperature reaches about 88 degrees.

Contact IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at 317-444-2701 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @VicRyc.

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