Sunset over the Allegheny Mountains — Smoke from wildfires in Canada lead to vibrant colors

A video of sunset over the Allegheny Mountains as viewed from Capon Springs, West Virginia on July 31, 2014.  This sunset video sequence was compressed from five minutes to 20 seconds. (Kevin Ambrose)

Our recent northly flow of the jet stream combined with smoke from wildfires in Canada produced colorful sunrises and sunsets across the area.  I captured the sunset on Thursday evening from Mountain Lodge at Capon Springs, West Virginia as the western sky glowed red when the sun slowly descended behind the mountains.

Dry Canadian air carried smoke particles from distant wildfires which scattered the sun’s light and produced the vivid shades of red in the sky that we recently experienced at sunrise and sunset.  Dust in the air from volcanic eruptions can also produce the same effect.

It was a very beautiful sunset, at least by Middle Atlantic summer standards.  Summer weather in our part of the country is often hot, humid, and hazy which produces muddy-looking sunsets without vibrant color.

As a note, HDR was not used in the photos or video.  The light of the setting sun was well-balanced with the ambient light in the foreground.


The wide view of the sunset over the Allegheny Mountains on July 31, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)

A sunset close-up, July 31, 2014. (Kevin Ambrose)
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local

Heat Tracker

19
90-degree days year-to-date
Yearly Average
36
Record Most
67 (1980,2010)
Record Fewest
7 (1886,1905)
Last Year
24

At a Glance

Tue.

partlycloudyday
72° /93°

Wed.

thunderstorms
73° /90°
Drop 70%

Thu.

thunderstorms
72° /89°

Fri.

partlycloudyday
72° /86°

Sat.

thunderstorms
69° /84°
Drop 30%

Sun.

thunderstorms
70° /89°
Drop 30%
National Airport
Dulles
BWI

Right Now

Next Story
Ian Livingston · August 2, 2014