Sadly, the western coast of the United States has retained a new title over the last couple weeks due to the ongoing wildfires. Right now, that section of our country has the 'worst air quality in the entire world.' As you can see from the map above, the wildfires rage on from the Canadian border all the way down to the Mexican border. Further inland, wildfires continue through states as far east as Texas.

Credit: Getty Images

If you have been feeling like our air quality here in Amarillo has been different, you are correct. More surprisingly, the haze we have been seeing, especially at sunset, is from all these fires to our west. Smoke plume maps, like the one shown at the very top of this article, show that wildfire smoke has been carried south across Arizona and New Mexico, then right over top of the Texas panhandle. On the smoke plume map, the darker the gray color, the thicker the smoke will be. Clearly the map shows that is the case over the Amarillo area. From a scientific standpoint, it is amazing to see how our weather patterns and airflow can spread the smoke thousands of miles from it's source.

Unfortunately, the amount of wildfires that continue to rage on mean that we will see hazy skies and smokey conditions around Texas for awhile. While crews are working hard, the shear amount of current fires is stretching resources thin and slowing the ability to attack all these fires at one time. In fact, we have a number of firefighters and pieces of equipment from right here in the Texas panhandle out west helping save neighborhoods and land. We continue to pray for our first responders on the front lines of the fires and those who live in that part of our country.