Rain in the forecast as Calgary sees "high risk" air quality due to wildfire smoke

Aug 16 2021, 8:42 am

It’s another smoky day in Calgary, however it looks like we may be in for some relief with rain on the way.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Calgary, renewed at 4:29 am on Monday. The Air Quality Health Index is currently sitting at a Level 9 on a scale of one to 10+, with anything above a Level 6 described as “high risk.”

Calgary air quality

Air Quality Health Index

“Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility at times,” reads the special air quality statement from Environment Canada. “Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.”

The government agency says that air quality conditions are expected to improve on Monday for central and northern regions of the province and on Tuesday for southern Alberta, including Calgary.

It’s currently 20ºC and smoky in Calgary, and the city has a forecast high of 21ºC on Monday, with a 30% chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms by 3 pm.

Overnight, temperatures are expected to drop to 11ºC and there’s more rain and risk of thunderstorms predicted. On Tuesday, temperatures will likely remain low, with a high of 13ºC and rain.

Wednesday looks like it’s going to be sunny, however temperatures won’t increase much, and 18ºC is the forecast high.

Calgary air quality

Environment Canada

Due to the poor air quality, individuals may experience symptoms like increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, are particularly at risk.

“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” says Environment Canada.

Environment Canada advises that if you or anyone in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, you should consider taking extra precautions to reduce exposure.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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