BLOG: Lack of rain is giving us the blues…

BLOG: Lack of rain is giving us the blues…

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With rain getting harder to find these days and few clouds around, one thing there has been no shortage of this summer is blue sky. So why is the sky blue?

Well, without the air, we wouldn't see anything except the sun!  The rest of the sky dome would be black. Think about those pictures you've seen of the astronauts on the moon. No blue sky there!

The sun produces white light which means it contains all the colors of the rainbow. As this light hits our atmosphere about twenty miles up, the molecules of the air affect the blue and violet light. This is because the shorter wavelengths of this light are small enough to interact with the air molecules.

The rest of the visible light has longer wavelengths and passes straight through. The result of the blue light's interaction with the molecules is called scattering. It's a good term, because it vividly describes what happens.

The blue light is continuously deflected as it hits more and more molecules. This results in us seeing the blue light from all directions in the sky.

Aerosols and other pollutants are larger and scatter all light equally giving the sky that hazy whitish appearance.

Thankfully our air quality this year has been outstanding, and we have had very few days with elevated pollutants such as the common ground-level ozone.