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Santa Barbara Weather: 54.5°F | Humidity: 97% | Pressure: 29.83in ( Falling) | Conditions: Clear | Wind Direction: North | Wind Speed: 0.0mph [see map]

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Heavy Smoke
updated: Jan 23, 2014, 2:45 PM

By John Wiley

Anyone know what's up with the diffused but fairly heavy smoke we saw west of Painted Cave about noon? It seems to be dispersing now, but I couldn't find anything about nearby fires online. I did find what seems to be related on an air quality site, in this hourly sequence that shows something starting around 10am east of town and then abating around noon. Doesn't seem like there would be a controlled burn during a red flag warning.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 02:51 PM

I haven't heard anything about a fire in that area..

 

 COMMENT 488649P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 02:54 PM

I'm in Painted Cave and can barely make out the coast line due to the haze, which started out as fog this morning...

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 03:00 PM

Nothing on County Fire Twitter either..Probably fog.

 

 COMMENT 488653P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 03:02 PM

Fog, everywhere on the coast today. Bring back those 80 degree days.

 

 COMMENT 488656 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 03:07 PM

Those maps are very informative--thank you.

 

 COMMENT 488666P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 03:26 PM

It's apparently not fog alone. The maps show the Air Quality Index for ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The orange area category is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, but the general public is not likely to be affected. Needless to say, that red blob around Fresno isn't good news for residents there but at least there are two categories beyond red.

So given today's general wind direction at ground and haze levels, my guess is it was a low intensity fire of some sort NNE of SB. There probably wasn't a plume that reached high altitude, and wind blew it offshore and then hooked west to join a flow toward the north. Maybe origin was in the valley between the San Rafael and Sierra Madre ranges?

 

 MISTA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 04:54 PM

The WIND in the SYV is kicking up a lot of dust. There is no moisture in the top soil, add high winds and it all goes airborne

 

 COMMENT 488711 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 05:09 PM

Lots of dust out in the fields around Lompoc this morning. Mista has this right. It is so dry. The machinery is really kicking up plenty of dust. We saw what looked like smoke in the distance and it ended up being a tractor moving along a farm road.

 

 COMMENT 488747 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-23 06:50 PM

Viewing from 30 thousand feet, the air was hazy all the way up to San Francisco today. Not sure if it was smog, fog, or plain old dust.

 

 SANDYINSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-24 06:41 AM

Is this the beginning of the California Dust Bowl?

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-24 08:15 AM

Karma from the depression.

 

 PITLOCAL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-01-24 10:54 AM

I hear there was a 4:20 gathering at the Sunburst Farm community...

 

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