WeatherWeather Blog


Wildfire Smoke

Hazy Sky Conditions
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 17:02:46-04

You’ve likely noticed a haze in the sky over the past several days. The culprit? Wildfires to our north and west producing a lot of smoke.

Because of our current atmospheric set up, the jet stream brings that smoke from the west, pushes it up north into Canada for a bit, then brings it back down south over parts of the Midwest. While we’re being impacted by it, it’s even thicker up north in parts of Minnesota and Michigan.

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With dry conditions expected to continue in the Pacific northwest, it is unlikely we will see much, if any, relief for some of the areas most impacted by wildfires at this time. This is especially true for some parts of Montana, Washington, Oregon, and California.

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Along with the wildfire smoke, eastern Nebraska and western Iowa are experiencing impacts from ground level ozone, which is also commonly seen during this time of the year as we get hot and muggy.

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The Air Quality Index is still in the “Moderate” category today, and is expected to be in the "Moderate" category again on Thursday. You can check the AQI before heading outside if you are more likely to be impacted by lower air quality.