Wildfire Smoke Continues Across US.

June 29, 2023

NOAA’s National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) continues to track and forecast air quality impacts of Canadian wildfires across the US. The 2023 wildfire season for Canada has brought smoke and other fire emissions to the US, covering a large portion of the nation. The Canadian wildfires affected states from Chicago to Maryland. 

As shown in the NAQFC forecast animation of vertically integrated smoke, wildfire emissions circled the Great Lakes, bringing smog to Pittsburgh and Eastern Ohio. Smoke and other emissions (nitrogen oxides and organic compounds) from wildfires can decrease downwind air quality through increased ozone and airborne particle concentrations.  The forecast also includes options for near surface smoke, dust and particulate matter.

The NAQFC was created by NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory and implemented by the National Weather Service to provide operational air quality forecast guidance to local and state agencies as well as to the general public across the United States. Operational predictions include ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), smoke nationwide, and dust over the continental US. ARL’s current research efforts are focused on further improving NAQFC’s capability to forecast wildfire air quality impacts, which are expected to increase in coming years.

Vertically integrated smoke forecast loop for June 29, 2023.  This forecast and prototype viewer are available at is available here.