Smoke from wildfires raging across the West Coast has drifted 1,000 miles or more over the Pacific Ocean, where it has been pulled into a cyclone, satellite images show.
A video posted Saturday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows smoke from the fires in California, Oregon and Washington being pulled into a swirl over the ocean.
“OK this seems very 2020: The offshore smoke is now getting sucked into that swirling storm out in the Pacific,” wrote Scott Sistek of KOMO on Twitter.
“I didn’t think the satellite images of the West Coast fires could get more jaw-dropping and alarming,” wrote Andrew Freedman of The Washington Post on Twitter. “I was wrong.”
“The smoke has been wrapped at least 1,000 miles west into a cyclone, and also is wafting far southeast, over Ariz.,” Freedman wrote.
As of Saturday, 97 large wildfires have scorched more than 4.7 million acres across the Western United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The fires have blanketed the West Coast in smoke, creating unhealthy air conditions.
©2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)