Colorado wildfire smoke turns Minnesota's sky and snow orange

Our surreal orange sky Thursday featured lightning, thunder and orange-tinted snow

Smoke layer from Colorado wildfires over the Upper Midwest.
Smoke layer from Colorado wildfires over the Upper Midwest.
NOAA via COD Weather Lab

They say all weather is local. But sometimes our weather brings in elements from far away places.

Smoke from Colorado wildfires turned Minnesota’s sky and snow orange and yellow Thursday. The smoke comes from an elevated smoke plume blown by mid-level winds from Colorado across southern Minnesota.

Our Minnesota storm system wrung out the Colorado smoke particles as snow and sleet formed, then fell to ground-level.

Lightning flashed and thunder rolled in a surreal looking orange sky this morning in parts of Minnesota.

NOAA satellites picked up the smoke layers blowing into Minnesota and Wisconsin Thursday.

The primary source region for the smoke plume is in Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park. You can see the massive fire-driven smoke plume in the left-hand part of this satellite loop.

Smoke plume from Colorado wildfires
Smoke plume from Colorado wildfires Thursday
NOAA via COD Weather Lab

Several wildfires fires are burning in Colorado. There is snow in the forecast this weekend which should help to ease the fire danger.

2020 continues to produce strange weather phenomena in Minnesota.

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