Anyone Else Smell Smoke Across Michigan?
If you've smelled a faint hint of smoke in the air lately, you aren't crazy. It's really there, and the reason for it is THOUSANDS of miles away and coming from our neighbors to the north.
Fires in Canada are contributing to the poor air quality in Michigan, and parts of the Northern United States right now, but some relief could be coming soon.
According to the National Weather Service, smoke from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, has been drifting east with weather patterns over the past few weeks. More than 100 fires in the Western Province have been burning on and off for about a month, and they're being fueled by fast moving weather systems moving from west to east.
So how is this affecting Michigan?
Those high-level weather systems have winds that are carrying the smoke across the northern US, and high-altitude states in the west.
Air quality advisories have been issued for Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Idaho as a result, and while no advisories have been issued for the states further east, we are still feeling - or rather SMELLING - the effects.
It may be faint in smell in some places, but other areas of Michigan, like Muskegon, are really seeing, and smelling the effects.
Fire Risk to Michigan?
The smoke and haze from Canada won't pose a threat to Michigan aside from lowering the air quality some, but Michigan could see some wildfires of its own if we aren't careful.
An abnormally dry air system has settled over Michigan and the upper midwest, bringing much drier conditions than are typical for this time of year.
So, for now, until we get some rain, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep a close eye on any burning you might be doing, and have a mask handy to filter out some of the light smoke you might be getting in the air from Canada.
When will it end?
Thankfully, a cool air system is about to dip in from Canada to the northern US, which should push some of the smoke out of the area, but it won't bring much in the way of precipitation with it. So, we're still stuck with a lot of dry air, but maybe less smoke smell.
But in the long-term forecasts, it looks as if the next decent chance for rain we MIGHT have, could be two weeks from now. But, obviously, with the clear skies, it means a lot of nice days for Michigan to open our summer with.