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Stateside Podcast: Why the wildfire smoke lingers

 A haze of smoke from wildfires in Canada in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 6/27/2023
Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio
A haze of smoke from wildfires in Canada in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 6/27/2023

As the smoke from Canada's wildfires continues to blanket Michigan, many people are wondering what's causing the prolonged plume — and when it will go away. On today's pod, we were joined by Michigan's state climatologist, Jeff Andresen. He explained that while smoke and fires of this intensity are uncommon in Michigan, there were some extenuating circumstances this season that made this weather more likely to occur.

"Normally we see dispersal of smoke and other other substances in the atmosphere fairly rapidly," Andresen said. "But because there is so much smoke, we have large plumes. And of course, it takes winds of the right direction and speed and atmospheric stability. There's a number of factors here that allow that smoke to be transported, in this case, hundreds or thousands of of miles."

Listen to today's pod to learn more about the smoke patterns and what will drive it off.

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.
Cate Weiser joined the Stateside team as an intern in May 2023, and is a second-year at the University of Chicago.