"...in May?": Smoky Vancouver air worse than Beijing as quality plummets overnight

May 18 2023, 5:19 pm

Air quality in Vancouver plummeted overnight, and it’s worse than in Beijing, China.

According to IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, Vancouver was among the 25 worst cities in the world as of Thursday morning.

Thankfully, as the day goes by, things should let up as long as IQAir’s forecast pans out.

But it might be a sign that smoke season has arrived in Vancouver earlier than many are used to, which has led to some surprise from residents.

Daily Hive

As of Thursday morning, Vancouver’s air quality was rated at 80, which falls under moderate air quality. Lower is better. The worst city is Baghdad, Iraq, where the air quality rating is 172.

To put Vancouver’s rating into perspective, Beijing is a 78 and Kolkata in India is a 76.

vancouver air


The IQAir map indicates conditions in neighbouring regions, like parts of BC and Alberta, are contributing to Vancouver’s air quality rating today.

Vancouver air


Conditions will vary based on what part of the city you’re in, but how’s it looking where you are? Let us know in the comments.

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