What causes the amazing sunsets over valley skies?

12:49 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO - Have you been enjoying the beautiful sunsets?

They're all thanks to dirty air.

That's right. Dirty air is air that's full of particulate matter: smoke, dirt, pollen, dust, etc. These small particles help to refract the sunlight. It's the bending of the sunlight that causes the bright colors displayed during sunset.

The valley forecast calls for a cold front to pass through the area Thursday. This cold front will usher in more winds and they will help mix out the atmosphere. Therefore, there will be less particulate matter in the lower levels of the atmosphere and less brilliant sunsets.

Bad news if you were enjoying the glorious sunsets but good news if you have upper respiratory issues because too much particulate matter can influence the air quality.

by Tracy Humphrey, THumphrey@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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