Breakdown: Why weather can determine how vibrant or smoky a fireworks display can be

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 11:35 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -It’s that time where we are headed into a New Year and many will experience firework displays. Weather can have impacts on fireworks, from how vibrant the colors are to how long the smoke lingers after the fireworks.

Lets start with humidity. If there is too much humidity the colors are not as bright and less humidity willl mean brighter colors.

Wind can be a big deal and have a huge impact on fireworks displays. The wind will determine where the smoke from the fireworks travel and can transport hot particles from fireworks. Ideally, you want the wind to carry the smoke away from viewers.

If the winds are completely calm, well thats not the best because smoke can get trapped and smoke can linger.

The lingering smoke is due to a phenomenon that can happen in winter and is called a temperature inversion.

Inversions occur during the winter months when a dense layer of cold air is under a layer of warm air. The warm layer acts much like a lid, trapping pollutants in the cold air near the ground. That means anything in that pool of air is also trapped within the first couple of thousand feet from the surface which can be smoke from fireworks, or any other particles in the atmosphere. The smoke can linger until the next day when it usually mixes out or spreads back into the upper levels of the atmosphere.

If you have any asthma or respiratory issues, you may want to limit your outdoor activities especially during fireworks shows.

It’s nice to have dry weather for displays but too dry and that could increase the fire danger threat.

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