All Weather News

Poor Air Quality Continues due to Wildfire Smoke

23 Jul 2021, 8:00 am

As massive wildfires continue to burn across the west, the smoke is impacting much of the northern U.S. with hazy sunsets and sunrises and poor air quality. The air quality overall today is better than earlier this week, and fewer states have air quality alerts in place today.


Air quality has drastically improved in the northeast following rain and a cold front, but expect smoke and haze to build back in over the coming days.

Many spots will be have orange/red impacts on the air quality scale. Closer to the fires in the west, a few locations will start to see extremely poor air quality in the purple/brown category.

Even though many states no longer have air quality alerts in place, there will be areas of smoke drifting in from the west until the wildfires are quelled. The flow of the jet stream around a massive ridge of high pressure in the Four Corners will pull the thick smoke from the Western U.S.  through the northern plains and Ohio River valley.


Closer to the source of the smoke, we will see locally poor air quality across the west. Still, hazy and vibrant sunsets and sunrises are anticipated for many as smoke remains thick. Take care of yourself and remember that if you are seeing smoke you are breathing it too.

Dense smoke will make for poor air quality through the day especially downstream of the largest wildfires.

For more on the wildfires burning in the west, join us on WeatherNation as we cover your top weather headlines throughout the day.

About the author
Erik Kostrzewa was born and raised in the state of Michigan; spending much of his life in the suburbs of Detroit. Erik attended the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor’s Degr... Load Moreee in Earth Systems Science and Engineering with a concentration in Meteorology. His first on-air job was straight out of college in Lansing, Michigan at WLNS-TV. After a few years, he moved an hour west to Grand Rapids to continue his career at FOX17 news. While in the heart of the lower peninsula, Erik covered a wide variety of challenging weather from lake-effect snow to derechos. Erik definitely has an interesting last name which comes from his Polish descent. If you are wondering how it is pronounced, the easiest way to say it is “Ka-Stree-Va”. Erik is thrilled to forecast on a national scale at WeatherNation and experience an even wider range of weather in Colorado! He is also looking forward to experiencing his first 14er on one of the many mountains in the state. Follow Erik on Twitter and Facebook!