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Smoke from California wildfires briefly returns to Pacific Northwest

Smoke seen in Northern California (National Weather Service)

Forecasters say smoke has made its way back toward southwest Washington late Tuesday, and is expected to spread north then settle in for Wednesday morning.

Chance of aurora borealis sighting in Western Washington this week

The National Weather Service in Seattle does say the smoke should stay aloft at higher altitudes. It likely won’t seriously impact local air quality, but skies may appear hazy or “milky looking” for the second half of the week. This also brings the potential for some colorful sunsets and sunrises.

The NWS expects air quality to remain in the “good” range in most areas in the state, while hikers and campers at high elevations are likely to notice more smoke than usual. It also emphasized that this run of smoke will “not be anything like the smoke event earlier this month and should be fairly short-lived this week.”

The Washington Department of Ecology echoed that prediction Tuesday, saying that “this will not be a prolonged event.”

Coincidentally, warm and dry conditions will return across Western Washington with temperatures expected to be well above normal through much of the week. According to the National Weather Service, Seattle “will make a run at 80 degrees” Tuesday. The last time that happened this late in the year was 27 years ago in 1993.

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