A cool front moved southeast across Minnesota on May 10th and switched the winds to the north. These winds carried smoke from the Ham Lake Fire southward across east central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. On May 11, a milky, hazy appearance was in the sky over the Twin Cities and visibilities were reduced some due to the smoke over west central Wisconsin. Eau Claire reported a visibility around 2 miles due to smoke at 9 and 10 am May 11th. Many people reported the scent of smoke in the air across the Twin Cities. The Chanhassen National Weather Service has a satellite image of the smoke as well as further information.
Listed below are public information statements about the smoke courtesy the National Weather Service.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 1057 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2007 ...SMOKE FROM THE HAM LAKE FIRE FILTERING INTO EASTERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN TODAY... WITH A SHIFT TO NORTHERLY LOW LEVEL WINDS BEHIND THE COLD FRONT THAT PUSHED THROUGH THE AREA YESTERDAY /THURSDAY/...SMOKE FROM THE LARGE HAM LAKE FIRE IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA OF NORTHEAST MINNESOTA FILTERED INTO EASTERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. AREA SURFACE OBSERVING SITES HAVE REPORTED MODERATELY REDUCED VISIBILITIES...GENERALLY FROM 3 TO 7 MILES...AND THE NUMBER OF AFFECTED SITES HAS INCREASED THROUGH THE MORNING...SPREADING SOUTHWESTWARD TO THE INTERSTATE 35 CORRIDOR SOUTH OF THE TWIN CITIES. SEVERAL CALLS CONCERNING THE SMOKE HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES...ESPECIALLY ACROSS WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. LOW LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME MORE SOUTHERLY...WITH MID LEVEL WINDS SHIFTING TO A WESTERLY DIRECTION BY LATE TOMORROW /SATURDAY/...WHICH SHOULD HELP TO DISPERSE THE SMOKE BY THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEKEND. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE SMOKE AND THE HAM LAKE FIRE ITSELF...VISIT OUR WEBPAGE AT: HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/TWINCITIES (ALL LOWER CASE) PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI 1037 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2007 ...SMOKE FROM MINNESOTA WILDFIRE ACROSS THE AREA... A LARGE WILDFIRE CONTINUES TO BURN NEAR HAM LAKE MINNESOTA ALONG THE CANADIAN BORDER NORTH OF DULUTH. SMOKE FROM THIS WILDFIRE DRIFTED SOUTH INTO THE AREA THURSDAY NIGHT AS THE WINDS TURNED TO THE NORTHEAST BEHIND A COLD FRONT. THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF SMOKE LATE FRIDAY MORNING WAS FROM EXTREME EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA INTO CENTRAL WISCONSIN. HOWEVER...THIS SMOKE WILL CONTINUE TO DRIFT SOUTH THROUGH THE DAY AS THE WINDS REMAIN NORTHEAST. PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO SMELL THE SMOKE AND THERE WILL BE A HAZY LAYER IN THE SKY. IF THE CONCENTRATION OF SMOKE IS HIGH ENOUGH...THE VISIBILITY MAY BE REDUCED FOR A WHILE.