Will West Central Missouri Be Choking On Canada’s Wildfire Smoke?
The big news yesterday was how smoke from the Canadian wildfires was choking the eastern half of the United States. While I noticed a little bit of something in the air yesterday, I couldn't tell you if it was just a haze or whether or not it was related to Canada's wildfires. So will we be choking on the smoke here in West Central Missouri?
The answer seems to be yes. Although it hasn't seemed to reach us yet, as best as I can tell. For the record, I'm writing this at 2:30 PM CDT on Thursday, June 8, so things could have changed by the time you read this.
The FireSmoke Canada website has an interactive map that tries to plot out where the smoke from Canada's wildfires will be going two days out. It's the easiest map I've found that's predicting where the smoke will go. As far as Missouri goes, their prediction isn't pretty. You can check out their latest predictions here.
Their forecast has the smoke rolling into West Central Missouri anytime now, while St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Columbia already experiencing it. Its map predicts the smoke will move into the Kansas City area sometime tonight between 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT tonight and then clear from a large part of West Central Missouri before impacting most of the area including Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, and most of the towns in-between tomorrow morning. It should clear out late tomorrow afternoon, and their interactive map doesn't go out far enough as of this writing to determine if we'll be dealing with smoke again Saturday.
The smoke map from Airnow.gov shows smoke plumes already encompassing most of Missouri, with a heavier band of smoke reaching from Hudson Bay in Canada following the Mississippi River down towards Atlanta. You can check out the Airnow.gov smoke map here.
Currently air quality across the state, according to a quick check of various Missouri cities has most of the state listed as moderate according to The Weather Channel. Generally, that means most of us won't be impacted by the air quality. Although if you're unusually sensitive to air pollution it could be a problem. According to Airnow.gov air quality can range from good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous. You can learn more about the definitions behind those classifications here.
My guess would be, and it's just a guess, we might notice some hazy conditions but I'd be surprised if we get the smoke as bad as they did along the East Coast. One thing I do know, wildfire smoke, can produce some brilliant sunsets. Here's to hoping we get that, and not smoke choking out the sun completely.