There are some mountains in Western North Carolina and East of Tennessee.
These mountains are famous for a blanket of smoky haze.
Locals tribes called them Shaconage. It means the land of blue smoke.
They considered the place sacred due to the smoke blanket.
British Settlers called them the Great Smoky Mountain.
Many think, why are the smoky mountains smoky?
We will give you a detailed answer to your question.
Where Does the Smoke in the Smoky Mountains Come From?
The Smoky Mountains are smoky because of the smoke in the mountains. The smoke is the fog that comes from many mountain plants and nearby areas.
Plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis as they make glucose and release oxygen.
Many do not know that plants also release volatile organic compounds with oxygen.
These compounds are not harmful as they give a refreshing smell.
You may get a distinct smell from the Christmas tree when you place it in your home.
It is due to the volatile organic compounds.
These compounds can accumulate water molecules due to high vapor pressure.
As there are millions of trees in the Smoky Mountains area, they produce large quantities of vapors to produce thick smoke.
These mountains get their smoky looks due to fog.
What Makes the Smoke in the Smoky Mountains Blue?
Volatile organic compounds are also responsible for the blue color of the smoke.
As large quantities of these compounds are in the air, they absorb most of the other light colors and scatter only blue light.
This gives a bluish hue to the smoke on the mountain.
Blue smoke is not exclusive to the Smoky Mountains, as other areas with the same amount of vegetation give the same color to the fog.
Acadia National Park also has blue smoke. It is known as the blue haze in that area.
Some other factors can also affect the formation of the blue fog.
You will see them in the area with a lot of rainfall and sunlight.
It is necessary for the growth of the trees.
You will not see blue smoke when there is low rainfall and low sunlight in an area.
What About the Air Pollution?
Some people think air pollution is responsible for the blue smoke in the Smoky Mountains.
It is not true because Smoky mountain smoke is due to the volatile organic compounds.
Almost eighty percent of the blue smoke is due to volatile organic compounds.
As humans settle more in that area, air pollution becomes part of this smoke.
You can distinguish between the smoke of the volatile air compounds and pollution by color.
Carbon particles do not give a blue tint to the smoke as they block sunlight.
Blue tint is due to volatile organic compounds only.
If you see black color in the smoke, it is due to air pollution.
Nature protection organizations are trying to reduce the air pollution in the area to avoid the loss of this excellent habitat.
Are the Smoky Mountains Always Smoky?
The smoky Mountains are not always smoky because pollution has disturbed the view.
Sometimes the smoke is due to pollution also.
You can tell the difference between the blue and gray smoke.
Gray smoke is due to the pollution in the area.
You may not find smoky weather when the temperature is high in the area.
Intense sunlight and heat retention can also reduce the smoky appearance of the mountains.
Global warming is responsible for the reduction of smoke in The Smoky Mountains.
Where Is the Best Place to See the Smoke?
All the places in the Smoky Mountains are best to see smoke.
You can go there in the morning.
You can go in your vehicle and take the road of Cades Cove.
You will find a perfect spot to look at the blue smoke after driving for some time.
You can also go towards the Newfound Gap.
You can also find a suitable spot to sit and relax while watching the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
You can look for a place to get views of many mountains from one place.
What Is the Best Time to Visit the Smoky Mountains?
The best month to visit the Smoky Mountains is August to October.
You have to wait for the hurricane season as winds from the storm replace all the air from the area.
You will get the cleanest air during this season.
You can also select the specific time of the day and weather to get the best view.
Morning is the best time to see the smoke as the sun does not affect the smoke at that time.
If you can go there in the rainy weather on the morning of the hurricane season, you will get the best views.
You will see blue smoke when the air is free from pollution.
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Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Roger