Dangerous air quality for B.C. Interior as we enter weekend
Friday, August 24, 2018, 1:29 PM - While coastal B.C. has seen an improvement in air quality courtesy of an onshore flow of fresh Pacific air, over the Interior, northwesterly winds will prevail this weekend with very little improvement expected over the next few days.
Widespread air quality statements still remain in place across British Columbia. Below is a look at both smoke and rainfall forecasts this weekend.
(See also: National fire danger map)
- A very weak onshore flow has helped improve the air quality along the immediate coast
- Interior remains in the centre of the worst air quality, smoke will move back into the Lower Mainland Friday afternoon
- Next trough moves through Saturday, bringing another chance for showers
- Temperatures remain cool into next week
WATCH BELOW: NEXT SHOT AT RAIN
"The Interior will remain in the centre of the worst air, and the smoke will make its way back into the Lower Mainland for Friday afternoon, deteriorating Vancouver's air quality through the day," says The Weather Network meteorologist Kevin MacKay. "The next trough will move through Saturday, bringing another chance for showers to primarily the eastern half of the province."
AIR QUALITY STILL A BIG ISSUE: 'SMOKY SKIES BULLETIN'
According to Environment Canada, latest forecast models show more "conservative rainfall amounts over the weekend, so current wildfires will see little help from the rain."
EC adds that communities downwind of wildfires will continue to experience "high concentrations of fine particulate matter and poor air quality for the foreseeable future."
In the Metro Vancouver, "ground-level ozone concentrations have improved due to cooler temperatures," said EC on Friday.
While levels of fine particulate matter should continue to decline Friday for the area, an air quality advisory remains in effect as smoke concentrations may vary depending on winds, temperature and fire behaviour changes.
"The smoke looks to just clip Victoria and YVR, but really filling into those Interior valleys with dangerous and hazardous air quality as we enter the weekend," added The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
The potential for thunderstorms is limited, but fortunately that means this change in the weather does not look to bring any more lightning sparked fires. The cooler pattern continues through much of next week with more rain showers expected, especially into the Rockies.
"This will not end the wildfires, but the cooler weather and higher humidity will greatly help efforts for controlling the fires and make conditions less favourable for more fires to start," said Dr. Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "There are no major weather systems in sight, but there is potential for additional showers at times next week."
'IT'S JUST TOO AWFUL OUT THERE'
Kelowna resident Christie Diadio told The Weather Network it "smells like so many campfires" in the area. "We try to stay inside as much as we can," said Diadio, "it's just too awful out there. The light that does make it through is orange, and everything looks quite eerie."
Diadio also noted it's been much chillier with the diminished sunshine.