Northwest Iowa — You’ve probably heard about all the wildfire smoke coming down from Canada, causing air quality issues and a smokey smell in the air.
Meteorologist Matthew Dux from the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls gives us the situation.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials say that since the wind changes continually, it can mean differing levels of fine particulate matter in the air, and that can affect air quality.
On days when the air quality is low due to this smoke or for other reasons, the DNR recommends individuals with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children limit prolonged outdoor exertion until the smoke plume passes and air quality conditions improve.
Dux says some people assumed the smoke would last for a few days, but he says it’s been several weeks now already, and no one knows how long we’ll have to deal with its effects. He says Canadian weather conditions this past spring created a high fire risk.
He says the smoke on Monday was more intense than it had been for the last few days, and it may have caused a slight reduction in daytime temperatures.
He says it may even affect temps even more than a degree or two. But, says Dux, you can’t blame the smoke for causing all of the recent cool temperatures.
Back to the air quality issue for a moment. If you’d like to keep track of evolving air quality conditions, you can do so at: www.shl.uiowa.edu/env/ambient/hourlyaqi.xml.