Canadian Wildfire Smoke Pushes Into U.S.

WOAY-TV (Oak Hill, WV): Wildfires burning in western Canada are sending smoke plumes into the Northern U.S.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill has the latest:

It’s the same tune, but just a different year. One year ago, we were watching wildfires grow rampant from Saskatchewan to British Columbia.

Now, this year, at this very moment in time, compared to last year, there are fewer but still above-average wildfire activity in central and western Canada. The outlook is bleak through June; more wildfires than average are expected in western Canada, likely shifting into Quebec and Ontario early this summer.

The problem is on a northwest wind that smoke comes down into the U.S. The bottom line going forward is poor air quality concerns across the U.S. northern tier in the wake of cold fronts that bring a wind shift to the northwest (the source of the Canadian wildfire smoke). Our best chance here in southern West Virginia to see smoky skies will be late May into June.

Any southerly wind will bring back the haze and humidity thanks to the increase in atmospheric moisture content, but push the smoke back into Canada and improve air quality.

Wildfire smoke forecasting is very important to the energy industry as it can negatively impact wind speed and solar output.

We will let you know if smoke will contribute to our air quality concerns going forward through the remainder of the spring into early summer.

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