Why does the sky look orange and red at the 2020 Safeway Open?
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Why does the sky look orange and red at the 2020 Safeway Open?



If you're watching the 2020 Safeway Open, there's no doubt you've noticed that the sky at Silverado Resort in northern California is a weird color: orange, red and yellow together, almost like fall foliage.

You're probably wondering why the sky looks like that.

If you haven't heard about it recently, massive wildfires are burning throughout California, with hundreds of thousands of acres consumed already. One of the major fires is just over a mountain range from Silverado Resort, and the smoke and plumes of fire are going up into the sky and flooding the atmosphere. Meanwhile, as the sun shines, the smoke is acting like a reflector and a refractor, diffusing the sunlight into component colors, giving us the orange, red and yellow sky that you're seeing on TV.

These skies are not only in Napa, but they're also in San Francisco and throughout other parts of the Golden State. The wind carrying the smoke and ash through the air has brought the same eerie skies to Oregon as well, just above California.

The end result for the PGA Tour event is that the players have been practicing this week under flood lights throughout all parts of the day because the sky color makes it difficult to practice.

We haven't heard of players considering wearing masks so far this week, but some may consider doing so with smoke inhalation a real threat for the field.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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