LOS ANGELES - It’s yet another wild weather phenomenon of 2020. A cyclone forming a thousand miles off the West Coast of the United States met with clouds of smoke from the massive wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington.
Satellite footage compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) captured the Pacific Ocean all day Saturday and Sunday.
In the video, taken by the GOES-WEST satellite above the Pacific Ocean, a dark grey cloud of smoke from the Western wildfires is blown over the Pacific Ocean and is swept up into the cyclone — swirling into a cyclonic low pressure system.
According to NOAA, the 24-hour loop shows the cyclone near the center of the frame, to the left of the West Coast of North America.
“NIFC Fire says says nearly 28,000 firefighters and support personnel are responding to the #fires,” NOAA tweet.
Wildfire smoke is blanketing the West Coast as many firefighter crews continue to extinguish and monitor many fires.
According to Q13 FOX Seattle, just under 300 firefighting crew members were able to contain the Cold Springs Canyon Fire in Washington State by 45% on Sunday. The fire spread through 188,852 acres in the area. Authorities said over the weekend that wildfires have killed at least 35 people from California to Washington state, according to the Associated Press.
Snonoma Technology, an enivronmental consulting firm in Northern California, said that current satellite imagery shows direct smoke transport from numerous large wildfires along the West Coast intro California's Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Lake Tahoe region and father north in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
"Smoke has been transported offshore over the past few days, especially from fires in Oregon. That smoke has lingered and is now entrained behind an approaching weak cold front. Although we usually expect a clean-out behind a front, this entrained smoke may actually cause AQI [air quality index] levels to remain high after it moves inland on Thursday. However, sustained onshore winds should gradually bring a cleaner air mass into northern California on Friday and into the weekend," Patrick H. Zahn, lead forecaster at Sonoma Tech. said.
Meanwhile, Karina was the only named tropical system in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. As of Monday afternoon, Tropical Storm Karina had sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving to the northwest at 8 mph.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the system will remain over relatively warm waters, so some strengthening will be possible. Within about 24 hours, Karina will enter a drier environment and begin to weaken. The system is not expected to bring direct impacts to land.
Storyful contributed to this story.