Denver air quality Friday among worst in the world

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Did the smell of smoke smack you in the face this morning? That's smoke from Canada's wildfires, which we have discussed previously, in western areas which have not only been dry but also experiencing record heat.

The fires during the past week are shown here:

The smoke from these fires has primarily impacted Canada and the northern U.S. until this latest storm system pushed the smoke into Colorado. Friday morning, Denver had some of the worst air quality of all major global cities (Source

This animation shows the smoke forecast across Colorado through Friday into Saturday.

The outlook does not remove much smoke today or tonight, so the air quality issues will remain likely beyond today.

IMPACTS...Moderate to heavy smoke transported from Canadian wildfires will impact the advisory area through at least Friday afternoon.  HEALTH INFORMATION...Public Health Recommendations: Increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in people with cardiopulmonary disease and older adults. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.


WHAT IS AN ACTION DAY?: An Action Day for fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone or other pollutants indicates that either current air quality is unhealthy or conditions are expected to worsen later in the day or on the next day. Action Days for air pollutants generally indicate that air quality will be in either the Unhealthy or Unhealthy-for-Sensitive-Groups categories according to the Air Quality Index. Action Days always convey overarching public health recommendations, and, according to season, trigger a variety of mandatory and voluntary pollution prevention measures. For example, during the summer open burning is prohibited when an Action Day for ozone and/or fine particulates is in effect. During the winter, residential burning restrictions are in effect when an Action Day for Visibility is in effect.

Additional poor air quality days are likely ahead of us until we can change the weather pattern which has been rather persistent lately. So, the next few days remain unsettled in terms of the weather with rain chances and the chance of smoke to linger.

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