Burning Smell Blamed On Dry Weather, Brush Fires
Posted October 31, 2001
RALEIGH — Dry weather and last week's brush fires are to blame for a burning smell in the air.
Mike Maze says an inversion above the surface of the ground -- where the temperature at a certain point above the ground starts to rise -- is trapping the smoke close to the ground.
Usually, the air that is close to the ground is warmer than the air found at higher altitudes. When the air is especially still, cooler air, which is more dense, settles close to the ground. The warmer air forms a blanket above it in a temperature inversion.
Pollutants in the air, such as smoke and soot, are also trapped close to the ground. Fog formed when moisture in the cool air condenses close to the earth's surface becomes smog when combined with these pollutants.
The smoky smell is likely to last through the afternoon.
All the brush fires have been contained.