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ivanthegreat
 
08/18/2018 01:11PM
Hello, this is is my first post. Have been reading the board for couple of years now and finally decided to join. I'm planning a trip around the labor weekend and I'm a bit concerned about the ongoing fires in Canada. Even in TC there was an air quality alert issued. How things are way up north? Would appreciate any updates from those who live there and who are returning from the trips.
 
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08/18/2018 04:45PM
I was up there last week. It’s mostly hazy with some beautiful sunsets. I wouldn’t worry about it unless you’ve got some health concerns.
plainspaddler
distinguished member (352)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2018 07:43AM
I was on Gabbro August 7th through the 10th and it was pretty hazy with a air alert for Ely. We were supposed to be there until the 11th but took out a day early due to the haze. I have asthma and I didn't want it to be a problem on the portage out. It didn't smell smokey it was just hazy out.

Mike
TickMagnet
member (11)member
 
08/20/2018 07:46AM
My wife and I spent the last 4 days on Nels Lake. Air quality wasn't an issue, nor was there any smell of fire in the air, as can be the case. But neither of us has any respiratory issues to speak of, so take that into consideration.

The constant haze, however, made stargazing a fruitless endeavor which was disappointing as, being from Minneapolis, it's one of the things we look forward to when spending time in Canoe Country.
08/20/2018 11:44AM
Was at the end of the Gunflint Trail last week and had no problems seeing all the stars I wanted to for most of the trip. Later in the week when all the weather radio seemed to want to talk about was the air quality alert, it was cloudy when it was supposed to be partly to mostly sunny.

Didn't smell smoke, but attribute the sun setting 15-20 minutes "early" every night to it.
OCDave
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2018 01:08PM
ivanthegreat: "Hello, this is is my first post. Have been reading the board for couple of years now and finally decided to join. I'm planning a trip around the labor weekend and I'm a bit concerned about the ongoing fires in Canada. Even in TC there was an air quality alert issued. How things are way up north? Would appreciate any updates from those who live there and who are returning from the trips."

I was on Clearwater Lake, EP 62, last weekend, 8/10-8/12. Slight haze noticable as the sun was setting but, otherwise smoke was not noticable. We stayed up late to watch meteor showers and perhaps glimpse the Aurora Borealis. While the meteors where not as plentiful as we had hoped, we were treated to a fantastic view of the Milky Way. We also witnessed a bizzarre lightning effect, like heat lightning from a cloudless sky, that was apparent only because the skies were so dark and quite clear. Northern Lights? Distant meteror effects?

Our days were fairly windy so, local smoke might have been blown out of the area.

Good Luck, enjoy your trip.
nmillette
member (25)member
 
08/20/2018 01:32PM
Was just on Brule yesterday. Lots of haze, and you could occasionally smell smoke, but it made for great fishing, and cool sunsets. I would not be too worried unless you have respiratory problems in my opinion.
nmillette
member (25)member
 
08/20/2018 01:32PM
Was just on Brule yesterday. Lots of haze, and you could occasionally smell smoke, but it made for great fishing, and cool sunsets. I would not be too worried unless you have respiratory problems in my opinion.
ivanthegreat
 
08/20/2018 06:49PM
Thank you everyone, really appreciate the response.
smit2174
member (8)member
 
08/20/2018 07:32PM
I was on Clearwater Lake, EP 62, last weekend, 8/10-8/12. Slight haze noticable as the sun was setting but, not otherwise no smoke was noticable. We stayed up late to watch meteor showers and perhaps glimpse the Aurora Borealis. While the meteors where not as plentiful as we had hoped, we were treated to a fantastic view of the Milky Way. We also witnessed a bizzarre lightning effect, like heat lightning from a cloudless sky, that was apparent only because the skies were so dark and quite clear. Northern Lights? Distant meteror effects?

We were up there last weekend (8/10-8/12), as well, in the Sawbill to Cherokee area, and observed the lightning effect too. At first I was thinking it was an airport light or casino spotlight reflecting off the haze, but it seemed too irregular for that. Our best guess was some sort of lightning high in the atmosphere, or very far away (we couldn't hear any thunder). If anyone has an idea what this phenomenon might be, I'd be interested to know!

The smoky haze put a bit of a damper on our Perseid-watching plans, but we were still able to see several really bright, sky-spanning meteors. I didn't see many smaller meteors, I'm guessing because of the haze. We could see the Milky Way but not as bright as in some previous years. We did not notice air quality issues or smell smoke-- even the guy with slight asthma who brought his inhaler along didn't need to use it.
08/20/2018 11:10PM
Welcome to the board! You picked a great forum to be apart of.
08/21/2018 10:22AM
smit2174: "I was on Clearwater Lake, EP 62, last weekend, 8/10-8/12. Slight haze noticable as the sun was setting but, not otherwise no smoke was noticable. We stayed up late to watch meteor showers and perhaps glimpse the Aurora Borealis. While the meteors where not as plentiful as we had hoped, we were treated to a fantastic view of the Milky Way. We also witnessed a bizzarre lightning effect, like heat lightning from a cloudless sky, that was apparent only because the skies were so dark and quite clear. Northern Lights? Distant meteror effects?


We were up there last weekend (8/10-8/12), as well, in the Sawbill to Cherokee area, and observed the lightning effect too. At first I was thinking it was an airport light or casino spotlight reflecting off the haze, but it seemed too irregular for that. Our best guess was some sort of lightning high in the atmosphere, or very far away (we couldn't hear any thunder). If anyone has an idea what this phenomenon might be, I'd be interested to know!
"


I just stumbled across this and wonder if it might be what you guys saw? I have never witnessed it myself, but it delights me that new things are still out there to be discovered!

https://www.sciencealert.com/steve-aurora-not-really-aurora-after-all-no-ionosphere-rain-skyglow
08/21/2018 11:25AM
I saw some of that last week too, one evening. I just attributed that to lightning from distant storms, as I've done in the past when I've seen flashes that seem to come from around the horizon.
OCDave
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/21/2018 03:58PM
mirth: "I saw some of that last week too, one evening. I just attributed that to lightning from distant storms, as I've done in the past when I've seen flashes that seem to come from around the horizon."

I wanted it to be Northern Lights, I've never seen them. I thought it would be cool if it was Meteor related. Because of the clear skies I was fairly confident it was not lightning. Of note; it was obvious and near constant after 10 on Friday 8/10 but I did not notice it on 8/11.

So far, the most likely explanation I have found is the International Fireworks Convention in Mason City IA.
buellerjr
member (6)member
 
08/21/2018 07:00PM
2nd post here. Our trip is second week of September and hoping by then the fires are mostly gone. Looks like there is some decent rain in the forecast in coming days, hoping it will help knock them down. Wife has some mild asthma so the less smoke the better.
canoegal
distinguished member (145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/21/2018 09:35PM
buellerjr: "2nd post here. Our trip is second week of September and hoping by then the fires are mostly gone. Looks like there is some decent rain in the forecast in coming days, hoping it will help knock them down. Wife has some mild asthma so the less smoke the better. "
Considering all the fires out west contributing to our air quality in addition to those burning in QPP, I hope your wife will bring a respirator face mask just in case. My husband was on Sturgeon Lake recently where Blueberry Island has a small fire as well as the now-growing 20+ acre fire on Russell. One night at camp the wind took the smoke in his direction. Fortunately he doesn't have asthma, but it was not a very pleasant experience. If we don't get much rain before your trip, the fire/smoke situation will likely be worse. I hope the rains come soon!
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/22/2018 12:45AM
OCDave: "ivanthegreat: "Hello, this is is my first post. Have been reading the board for couple of years now and finally decided to join. I'm planning a trip around the labor weekend and I'm a bit concerned about the ongoing fires in Canada. Even in TC there was an air quality alert issued. How things are way up north? Would appreciate any updates from those who live there and who are returning from the trips."


I was on Clearwater Lake, EP 62, last weekend, 8/10-8/12. We also witnessed a bizzarre lightning effect, like heat lightning from a cloudless sky, that was apparent only because the skies were so dark and quite clear. Northern Lights? Distant meteror effects?

Good Luck, enjoy your trip."


"Heat Lightning" is really just lightning in cloud or cloud to cloud lightning inside a cumulonimbus or thunderstorm cloud viewed from such a distance that the thunder cannot be heard- often times great distances in perfect conditions. Clear sky above and an unobstructed view towards the storms - the lightning can be seen from 50-100 miles away- sometimes greater in the Desert SW or mountainous area. Most time people are caught off guard as the weather as of late has been calm/quiet. This is likely what you witnessed but I did go over the radar loops from Duluth (which has radar coverage over the BWCAW and into Southern ONT) and didn't see anything of interest that may be a source of your lightning. If you were looking N - as most people do when looking for Northern Lights- the Canadian Weather Radar pages are very time consuming in finding archives for their weather radar. I would assume an area 40-80 miles or so N of your location had TS's during your experience but can't prove it.



OCDave
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/22/2018 01:55AM
WhiteWolf: "OCDave: "ivanthegreat: "Hello, this is is my first post. Have been reading the board for couple of years now and finally decided to join. I'm planning a trip around the labor weekend and I'm a bit concerned about the ongoing fires in Canada. Even in TC there was an air quality alert issued. How things are way up north? Would appreciate any updates from those who live there and who are returning from the trips."



I was on Clearwater Lake, EP 62, last weekend, 8/10-8/12. We also witnessed a bizzarre lightning effect, like heat lightning from a cloudless sky, that was apparent only because the skies were so dark and quite clear. Northern Lights? Distant meteror effects?


Good Luck, enjoy your trip."



"Heat Lightning" is really just lightning in cloud or cloud to cloud lightning inside a cumulonimbus or thunderstorm cloud viewed from such a distance that the thunder cannot be heard- often times great distances in perfect conditions. Clear sky above and an unobstructed view towards the storms - the lightning can be seen from 50-100 miles away- sometimes greater in the Desert SW or mountainous area. Most time people are caught off guard as the weather as of late has been calm/quiet. This is likely what you witnessed but I did go over the radar loops from Duluth (which has radar coverage over the BWCAW and into Southern ONT) and didn't see anything of interest that may be a source of your lightning. If you were looking N - as most people do when looking for Northern Lights- the Canadian Weather Radar pages are very time consuming in finding archives for their weather radar. I would assume an area 40-80 miles or so N of your location had TS's during your experience but can't prove it.



"


The continuity of the flashing and the lack of clouds argue against lightning. See my more recent post regarding Fireworks event in Mason City. Distant event but, as likely as any other explaination.
buellerjr
member (6)member
 
08/22/2018 07:35AM
canoegal: "buellerjr: "2nd post here. Our trip is second week of September and hoping by then the fires are mostly gone. Looks like there is some decent rain in the forecast in coming days, hoping it will help knock them down. Wife has some mild asthma so the less smoke the better. "
Considering all the fires out west contributing to our air quality in addition to those burning in QPP, I hope your wife will bring a respirator face mask just in case. My husband was on Sturgeon Lake recently where Blueberry Island has a small fire as well as the now-growing 20+ acre fire on Russell. One night at camp the wind took the smoke in his direction. Fortunately he doesn't have asthma, but it was not a very pleasant experience. If we don't get much rain before your trip, the fire/smoke situation will likely be worse. I hope the rains come soon!"


I appreciate your advice and concern. We will take necessary precautions and are monitoring the situation. She was on a trip in Colorado earlier this summer and had smoke in the area she was in due to their numerous wildfires, so we have recent experience with how she reacts. We have also dealt with this for enough years that we do take it seriously which is why I am monitoring this thread.
MikeinMpls
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/22/2018 10:09AM
I've been in Minot, North Dakota since Thursday. The haze today isn't as bad as it's been the last couple of days. The haze has been noticeable and striking. However, I have asthma and I'm very sensitive to smoke. Breathing hasn't been a problem for me.

Mike
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/24/2018 05:45AM
Your fireworks in Mason City,IA-- some 300+ miles away goes agst atmospheric physics. Not that it cannot happen-- but it's virtually impossible and in fact due to the lapse rate / distance involved - would be BELOW the horizon-- an effect (so great) below the Horizon. Feel free to enter your own #'s in the link below.
FTR- on the top of MT Everest- nearly 30K' above sea level- the visual horizon line is about 235 miles at most. To think anything man made -- from near sea level (1900') - could be seen- not at 30K'-- and among clutter on the on horizon from a distance of at least 300 miles is a stretch. Whatever you saw was not fireworks in Mason City,IA.

Distand objects (distance) based on height
OCDave
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/24/2018 09:07AM
WhiteWolf: "Your fireworks in Mason City,IA-- some 300+ miles away goes agst atmospheric physics. Not that it cannot happen-- but it's virtually impossible and in fact due to the lapse rate / distance involved - would be BELOW the horizon-- an effect (so great) below the Horizon. Feel free to enter your own #'s in the link below.
FTR- on the top of MT Everest- nearly 30K' above sea level- the visual horizon line is about 235 miles at most. To think anything man made -- from near sea level (1900') - could be seen- not at 30K'-- and among clutter on the on horizon from a distance of at least 300 miles is a stretch. Whatever you saw was not fireworks in Mason City,IA.


Distand objects (distance) based on height "


What we saw was not a direct observation but rather a very faint "flickering" of the sky overhead. The "flickering" was first noticeable around 10PM. Ther sky was very clear and moonless so, very dark. The "flickering" was nearly continous but with a variable rate somewhat comparable to popping pop corn. I can't report how long it lasted as we started seeing meteors and lost interest in the flicker. While the skies were equally dark and clear on 8/11 the same phenomena was not visible on 8/11.

Empirically, it is entirely reasonable that light, which travels distances on a stellar scale, would travel through a cloudless asmosphere a few hundred miles to be reflected off the haze above the BWCA.

So, while the required conditions - Moonless sky, cloudless skies, forest fire haze and someone fixated on the night sky to notice the effect -might make seeing effects of Fireworks from Mason City in the BWCA a rare occurance, my research makes it the most plausible explaination for what I saw.

I really wanted it to have a meteor related or northern lights origin but alas, man made is most likely.




WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
08/24/2018 04:18PM
A possibility? Noctilucent Clouds?
OCDave
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/24/2018 06:56PM
WhiteWolf: "A possibility? Noctilucent Clouds? "

Impressive but, not what I saw.
 
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