Environment Canada: Smokey haze over Vancouver to remain for foreseeable future

Aug 16 2018, 10:24 pm

Metro Vancouver’s air quality advisory remains in effect for its fourth consecutive day.

According to Environment Canada Meteorologist Matt MacDonald, it’s going to stay hazy for the foreseeable future.

Wildfires across the province are presenting fire crews with a different challenge as compared to last year.

“There’s been countless fires, over 500 across the province,” says MacDonald. “Last year, there were fewer fires, but they were larger in size. This year, there’s a large number of fires and they’re spread out across the province.”

“No matter where the winds come from, wildfire smoke gets pushed throughout the province.”

The silver lining, if nothing else, is a slight improvement in air quality – although the warning still remains.

“We measure through a ranking we call the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI),” he explains. “Yesterday the danger level was moderate to high, ranking at a six or seven (out of ten).”

“Fortunately there was a marine push, which was a push of air through the Juan de Fuca Strait, which brought in some cleaner air.”

Although there isn’t a terrific difference visually, AQHI today stands between 3 or 4 – a slight improvement.

“While there’s temporary relief, visually, it’s going to stay hazy for the foreseeable future,” MacDonald emphasized. “Even with subtle changes in wind, there are still tons of wildfires across the province.”

“In the ideal scenario, a major weather system with lots of rain would be a huge help but that’s very hard to come by at this time of year.”

“We’ve been trying to find a weather shift, going though long-range [forecasts] but there’s nothing much available.”

Wildfire smoke in Vancouver has even begun to push into eastward provinces. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have all been affected by BC’s wildfires.

Yesterday, a provincial state of emergency was declared in BC.

We’re all hoping a few days of rain can fall into Vancouver’s long-range forecast.

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