|Hazy sunrise on E. Siddonsburg Rd., Monaghan Twp., York County, Pennsylvania|
By this point of the year, summer haze has really kicked in. It’s no surprise that I have a lot of humidity here. My region contains and is surrounded by Appalachian mountains and forests. Forests, of course, pump huge amounts of water into the atmosphere. Each tree is like a pumping station that’s running full time during the summer. It’s not just the Smokey Mountains that are smoky.
I try to view the haze as a good thing—transpiration working properly to produce rain and create more oxygen in the atmosphere. Without it, we’d all be flopping like fish here on the earth. So despite what the humidity in the air does to photography, I won’t complain too much about it.
The nights are often hazy, too, and that part I don’t care for, as it limits decent stargazing. This is especially true now with the annual Perseid meteor shower gearing up. Earth is already entering what Spaceweather.com calls “a broad stream” of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle and a fireball from that was spotted over New Mexico last night. Although the meteor stream is still low at about 10 meteors per hour, forecasters expect the shower to peak on August 12-13 with as many as 100+ meteors per hour. Roundtop is a decent place to watch for meteors, as the mountain is pretty far from the worst of city light pollution. But haze obscures the view too, and of course weather overhead, close to earth, is always a worry.
But the meteor shower is still more than a week away and that’s too far away to worry about clouds or storms just yet. If the weather permits, I’ll be out on one of the ski slopes watching one of nature’s greatest shows.