Smoke Smell in Richmond

Posted by Meteorologist Andrew Freiden.

We’re smelling it again in Richmond. It’s the smell of smoke that has a lot of us looking to see if our house is on fire!  A fire burning in the Great Dismal Swamp in Suffolk/Chesapeake is producing the smoke and it’s drifting our way.  Click here for a map of where the swamp is. The fire is only 80 miles away from Richmond so it doesn’t take much to get the smell up here.  Calm winds overnight allowed the smoke to spread North and West.  It looks like westerly winds by midday or afternoon should push the smell back to Hampton Roads and Eastern North Carolina. 

A wonderful article from The Virginian-Pilot gives some great background.  Apparently there was a fire in the swamp in 1923 that burned for THREE YEARS!  This year’s fire might continue to smolder until a tropical storm arrives, or drenching rain from a big thunderstorm in just the right place.  That means we’ll continue to get smoke every once in a while, when the winds are just right.  Most of the smoke will continue to be in Hampton Roads this summer since the prevailing winds tend to blow in that direction.

The Fish and Wildlife Service website has some great images that give you an idea of the size and scope of the fires.  There’s one below, with more links below. 

Another Smoke Picture

Fire Progression Map Shows the Fire’s Size

*Note There are also separate fires burning in some Eastern NC Counties and some of that smoke MIGHT be coming our way, too.*



4 Responses to Smoke Smell in Richmond

  1. Michele says:

    Thanks for your help bobby_r!!!!

  2. bobby_r says:

    I’m not aware of any place that you can find the total rainfall data for the period you need. Usually you can find current month data, year to date data, i.e. Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 or seasonal data, i.e.,July 1 through June 30. The only way I know that you can obtain the total rain fall data since Aug. 2007 to present will require a little labor, so to speak, but not difficult. It sounds as though you’re familar with going to noaa NWS. When you get the NWS web page,click on eastern Virginia, from that Va. map page with Richmond shown on the map scroll down look at the different products on the left side of your screen and scrolthe left side of your select local, select preliminary climatology data, select Richmond, select archive data and then select each month one at a time and record the rainfall data for each month and total your data for your period from August 2007 through what ever period you desire in 2008.

  3. Michele says:

    Can anyone help me? I am looking for rainfall data from August of 2007 to the present? Where can I find it? Everything I seem to find on Noah is not current. Help!

  4. stan says:

    hello I live in jackson nj next to great adventure I and I smell the smoke twice. I called the fire department about it. and that what they said thanks,,,

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