Canada wildfires bring dangerous smoke levels to Florida
Low air quality levels prompted health advisories after smoke from wildfires in Canada blew into the Southeast. The air quality is forecast to improve Wednesday.
Air quality is forecast to improve Wednesday, a day after health advisories in Florida were triggered because of smoke from Canada wildfires blew through the Southeast.
On Tuesday, as a smoky haze could be seen over much of Florida, air quality levels reached an unhealthy range in the Tampa Bay area, Central Florida, the Space Coast, Southwest Florida and portions of South Florida, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow map.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Air Quality Index reached 174 outside of Lakeland. Anything above 150 is unhealthy for the general public.
The wildfire smoke in Florida is due to a combination of a low-pressure system over the state from last weekend and a high-pressure system over the eastern U.S. Winds from those systems brought unhealthy conditions as far south as Miami.
Smoky skies had us all talking today! Here was the path that the Canadian wildfire smoke took on its way to Florida. The red circle indicates where milky haze/smoke appeared each day on satellite since late Sept. on its path ultimately to us. #FLwx @CIRA_CSU pic.twitter.com/qmisP2SMdp— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) October 3, 2023
Smoke is made up of fine particles and gases when wood and other organic materials burn. The particles can get into eyes and respiratory systems and could cause throat irritation and difficulty breathing.
While the state's air quality was expected to improve Wednesday, a haze may linger across the northern half of the state through the week.
Canada’s fire severity for the fall is well above average, according to Natural Resources Canada. About 46 million acres have burned this year alone, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire.
Copyright 2023 Storm Center.