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Why does the sky look so muted?

The culprit behind our dull sky
Batavia muted sunrise
Posted at 8:48 AM, Jul 06, 2021

The sky has looked odd the last few days. It's as if the color has been dulled by something, but what?

The answer: pollution and smoke

High pressure has been in control of our weather, but it also keeps the air stagnant. With the air not moving, we see a buildup of pollution easily in Cincinnati.

But there has also been a thin layer of smoke setting up higher in the atmosphere from west coast and Canadian wildfires.

At sunrise and sunset, that color change is evident:

No smoke vs smoky sky
Explaining the difference smoke makes in the sky

But even in the afternoon hours, our bright blue sky isn't as bright since the dust molecules are larger and absorb more of the color. This is why the sky looks so muted.

Dust particle influence on the blue sky
Dust particle influence on the blue sky

How long will this last? We need a strong cold front to come through to knock the pollution and smoke out of here.

Red Tuesday morning sunrise
July 6, 2021