A large portion of the Midwest and Northeast regions experienced unhealthy air alerts as smoke from Canadian wildfires blanketed the areas, while the Southern U.S. faced extremely dangerous heat, according to multiple forecasters. NBC News Weather Unit reports about 127 million people received air quality alerts and 79 million more were under heat alerts as of 7 p.m. ET. As we all know, most of the poor air quality is due to the wild fires in Canada. In the US, the National Weather Service stated today that there are fires in all parts of Canada. Starting from the west part of Canada to the northwesterly winds (meaning coming from the west and northwest) are affecting air quality. As of Tuesday morning, Grand Rapids had the worst air quality in the United States, which puts the area in the ‘Very Unhealthy’ category, meaning respiratory patients, children, and older adults should avoid outdoor activities. Others around the state of Michigan were advised to keep their outdoor activities to a minimum and avoid any strenuous activity.
The one silver lining (if that’s what you want to call it) in the smoky clouds from Canada this month is that Michiganders and millions of Americans have gained a greater understanding of how air pollution affects them and how climate change affects them. Meteorologist Dave Kook, of the National Weather Service, said that air quality alerts issued by the state and forecasts made by his colleagues brought to light critical information that contributed to helping save peoples lives. When asked about when we can expect the air to be safe again, Kook said, “The smoke is going to hang around for another day before the winds shift and push it all out of the area for a while. We’ve got some storms trying to move into the area, but they are going to struggle all day.”
As the air continues to shift, we encourage all to try to limit your time outside as much as possible until the air is safe again. Frequently check your weather apps on your phone as well as your local weather forecast for updates.