Smoke From Australia’s Fires Has Traveled 6,800 Miles to Chile

January 8, 2020

As wildfires continue to burn in Australia, smoke from the blazes has traveled thousands of miles across the ocean to Chile. The plumes crossed 11,000 kilometers (6,800 miles) over the Pacific Ocean to the South American nation, moving on what is known as a trough or channel of low atmospheric pressure.

Edita Amador, a meteorologist for Chile’s Weather Directorate, told the Australian Associated Press she expects the cloud to head towards Argentina in the coming days. She explained it may form a “cap” over the land, which could reduce ultraviolet radiation levels on the ground. Amador said the smoke shouldn’t cause problems as it rarely rains in the affected area.

On Monday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted a satellite image showing two areas of smoke from the bush fires, heading towards South America.

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