Smoke Map Forecast Forecast Usa Air Quality (Smokemap for East Coast Wildfires and Great Lakes), Rev. Jason West, a University professor at UNC Chapel Hill
Millions of Americans from the Northeast to the Midwest were under air quality alerts on Thursday, as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to fill the skies.
The haze has made it difficult for air travel, sporting events and all other outdoor activities.
People with cardiovascular or respiratory problems, as well as children and the elderly, need to stay inside until the smoke is gone, which could take days.
“There’s nothing that you can do about the atmosphere,” says William, who is a professor in the department of environmental sciences and engineering at Chapel Hill. “We need to understand those processes so we can eventually understand what’s happening when we’re exposed to those particles.”
In the coming days, air quality is likely to become worse in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region because of the weather pattern.
“Canadian wildfires are not new, but this particular spring seems very severe for affecting the eastern United States which is, I suppose, a little bit unusual,” West told NPR.
Firefighters from several countries are helping out, according to him. The U.S. has so far deployed more than 600 firefighters and support personnel to Canada.
Jason West, a professor of environmental sciences and engineering at UNC Chapel Hill, says it’s not unheard of for wildfire smoke to travel long distances: The last few years have seen cases where smoke from West Coast fires ended up on the East Coast. He says that this season is notable because of the widespread fires in Canada.
What have we learned about air quality at our weddings? — Christina Lamoureux and her fiancée, Christina, tell NPR “What’s happening in Washington, D.C.”
He says the situation offers a window into what we might expect to see in the future, as climate change brings about more frequent and extreme weather events — from floods to fires to heat waves — in different places.
The air quality could be improved if the weather changes in one way or the other, according to West.
The National Weather Service said that a stalled low pressure system could shift the smoke away from the Northeast this weekend, but that the smoke could just be directed towards other areas of the US.
In the meantime, people should take steps to protect themselves — several experts who spoke with NPR recommended making DIY box fan filters — and check online resources like PurpleAir and AirNow to monitor the air quality in their area.
“We’ve spent a long time trying to measure air quality and create an air quality index that can easily communicate what it means to the public, and I think we’re seeing some of the fruits of that,” he says.
For the last year and a half, Christina Lamoureux has worked to make sure she and her fiancée can plan their wedding in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
We planned for rain, storms, and heat in June in the District. And because it’s going to be close to the White House, we had to think about President Biden and if he might be doing something that day,” Lamoureux told NPR.
But the one thing they never saw coming was a cloud of potentially poisonous, thick orange haze hanging over their nuptials – or their wedding pictures.
“The air quality is one of [those] things you never think you would have to worry about,” she said with a laugh, adding that now, it’s the singular thought in her mind.
I didn’t know what was happening when I went outside on Wednesday. It’s really crazy to live in Virginia and smell smoke from Canada, said Lamoureux, who lives in Alexandria.
A bride in Canada worries about the air quality at a wildfire event like the National Mall or the Daughter’s of the American Revolution building
Until this week, when she thought of her wedding, the 28-year-old lawyer, who is getting married at the historic Daughter’s of the American Revolution building near the National Mall, pictured herself and her 100 guests celebrating among the elegant beaux-arts style columns on a clear summer day.
“We are supposed to have a great view of the Washington Monument from our venue, but it may not be as clear a view now that the weather is nicer,” she said.
The unlucky few who are about to be married hope that the predicted shift in winds will push the dangerous air over the Atlantic and give them time to leave before the weekend.
A bride in Canada, not far from the rash of wildfires in Quebec that are causing the alarming conditions, bemoaned the situation she now finds herself in.
She said the air quality in Toronto will be bad this week and that’s why she’s just sad.
The Boston Globe reporter is participating in an outdoor wedding this weekend and sought advice on the platform. If the air quality index doesn’t drastically improve by then, will a KN95 protect me from the worst of it or do I need to find an N95?”
Lamoureux is worried about the well being of her guests who are from California, Colorado, and other states that have not been affected by the fires.
If the situation doesn’t improve, Lamoureux plans to move the reception from the portico to one of the rooms in the building.
But taking a more macro view of the current state of the environment, and the broader impacts of the pollution in the air that is posing short and long-term health risks for millions of people, Lamoureux sounded a bit more melancholy.
She said that a crisis like this demonstrates just how connected the world is and how much action is needed to tackle climate change.