What's causing the smoky haze over the Coastal Bend?

Many in the Coastal Bend have been asking questions about a layer of smoky haze hovering over Corpus Christi Wednesday morning, and it turns out there could be multiple reasons for it.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Many in the Coastal Bend have been asking questions about a layer of smoky haze hovering over Corpus Christi Wednesday morning, and it turns out there could be multiple reasons for it.

According to Kiii Meteorologist Alan Holt, it's happening because of an "atmospheric temperature inversion," where the air just above the surface is warmer than the air at the surface. This traps air at the surface, and has resulted in the haziness.

As for the smell of smoke, there could be a number of causes.

According to the San Patricio County Sheriff's Office, while there is a controlled burn of cotton stalks happening in Taft Wednesday, a representative from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told deputies that the noticeable haze hanging in the air is smoke from a structure fire outside the county.

Officials from the Annaville Fire Department said the haze could have come from a mobile home fire that broke out around 9 a.m. Wednesday outside the city limits near the intersection of Sundown and Meadow lanes.

However, the hazy layer in the sky was visible far earlier than the Annaville fire. It was already noticeable as early as 7:48 a.m. Wednesday in a photo posted by the Padre Island National Seashore, citing a "hazy orange-ish morning light."

TCEQ officials think they know why. They contacted 3News Wednesday afternoon and said while the area was experiencing an atmospheric temperature inversion in the morning, which would trap smoke and other emissions in a thin layer, the main culprit could be wildfires that are burning in Jefferson and Matagorda counties.

The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that smoke from the fires has been spreading inland to the southeast. The TCEQ said that might be was Coastal Bend residents are seeing.

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