Last week, Seattle sunk in a dense smoke coming for the wildfires in the area and making the sun show an apocalyptic red nuance. More important, the residents breathed a very unhealthy air. All these dramatical events led one scientist to come up with a new name for such occurrences, smokestorm, described as the next weather apocalypse.
Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and revered Seattle meteorologist, was the one who came up with this term in his most recent blog article entitled “A Smokestorm is Imminent.” “You have heard of rainstorms, snowstorms, and windstorms. It is time to create another one – the smokestorm,” wrote Mass.
According to Cliff Mass, a smokestorm is “a sudden onset of high concentrations of smoke that are large enough to affect daily life.” As a regular storm, the smokestorm is also disrupting the usual day-by-day activities as it happens recently in Seattle where the dense wildfire smoke flights were canceled or delayed.
The smokestorm is a new type of storm and the next weather apocalypse
According to Mass, the woods are overgrown now and “completely unlike what they were like 150 years ago, and they tend to burn these large fires which sometimes we just can’t stop.” The scientist added that climate change is behind these widespread and increasingly common wildfires and that we should expect more and more “smokestorm” events in the future.
As for how to stop these massive wildfires, Cliff Mass thinks that the best way to avoid them and smokestorm is to improve forest management which, although it would be costly, should be conducted smartly.
Discussing the recent smokestorm that hit Seattle, Mass said “this was the worst smoke event we had in 20 years. But one thing you can keep in mind is that people are not old enough to remember what it was like in the early 20th century and before.”
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.