Haze from US Forest Fires Could Reach Iceland

14 September 2020

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USA/ICELAND – Haze from wildfires raging on the United States’ west coast could reach Iceland on Wednesday or Thursday this week, mbl.is reports. The haze is unlikely to affect air quality in the country, as precipitation in the forecast should minimise its polluting effects.

Forest fires have killed at least 28 people in three states on the west coast of the United States since August. Dozens more are missing, while countless others have lost their homes in California, Oregon, Washington, and other states. Haze from the fires reached the central US on Saturday and will continue to move eastward, possibly reaching Iceland on Wednesday or Thursday, according to Elín Björk Jónsdóttir, a meteorologist at the Icelandic Met Office. If the haze does reach Iceland, it will likely only affect the southern coast and it is likely that wet weather will reduce its polluting effects.

“A low-pressure front is forming by Newfoundland [Eastern Canada], from the air mass that has passed over the central part of the United States, where there is currently haze,” Elín explained. “That low-pressure front will reach here on Wednesday and it is not out of the question that there is haze in it. It carries a bit of precipitation with it, so it’s not certain we will observe the haze as dust, the particles could rather be in the precipitation.”

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