HOUSTON, TX — Dense fog in the Houston area New Year’s Day was partly due to smoke from fireworks celebrations, according to a local meteorologist, and residents are being warned to stay inside due to “hazardous” levels of leftover smoke pollution. The National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory for most of southeastern Texas until 8 a.m. and social media users posted photos and videos showing nearly zero visibility. Car headlights were barely visible even just feet away.
“Do not breathe this air,” Travis Herzog of ABC13 tweeted Tuesday morning. “Stay inside if at all possible.”
Smoke pollution trapped near the ground even caused some people to experience a burning sensation on their eyes.
“Welcome to Beijing, Texas,” Herzog quipped on Twitter. “You’re looking at some of the most polluted air you’ll ever see over Houston. Notice how that ‘fog’ is brown/black. That’s primarily from smoke leftover from last night’s flurry of fireworks.”
Accompanying the tweet was a photo of skyscrapers surrounded by dark clouds.
The TV station reported road conditions were so poor that some drivers became stranded and had to pull over. One man was photographed sleeping on chairs at a church in the southeastern part of the city.
DENSE FOG! ⚠️ Viewers driving home post NYE celebrations say there’s 0% visibility in some areas. We’re hearing it’s bad in SE Harris Co. Thx to viewers for sending us photos (safely!) after pulling over. Advisory until 8am. We’re showing you the roads live on #abc13 this morn! pic.twitter.com/MM2iKX6Qrp
— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) January 1, 2019
The combo of fog and smoke brought visibilities down to zero. Truly “white out” conditions. Mind blown! #KHOU11 #HTownRush @GaughanSurfing pic.twitter.com/5nic6nwx61
— Blake Mathews (@KHOUBlake11) January 1, 2019
Photo credit: Allsport UK /Allsport