Wildfires out West causing air quality issues in W.Va.

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - While haze continues to cover the sky, it is not clouds. It’s is smoke from wildfires out West.

According to Tony Edwards with the National Weather Service, the smoke is affecting the Mountain State.

“Most folks just notice a hazy look to the sky, a milky look to the sky. At night you can’t see the stars,” Edwards said. “We have noticed some poor air quality, and that is especially in the morning when the haziness mixes with some fog and the air is more stagnant, so folks who are more sensitive to poor air quality could be affected by that.”

Edwards said people with severe asthma or people susceptible to low air quality could be affected.

WSAZ Chief Meteorologist Tony Cavalier said this smoke tends to stay high in the atmosphere.

“If you think about it, the source region of these fires two thousand miles away is spreading eastward with the jet stream to our area,’” Cavalier said. “It’s dispersed over hundreds of miles so you can’t smell it, but in the highest levels of the atmosphere right now there is quite a bit of atmospheric smoke.”

While the smoke mostly stays thousands of feet high, some of it makes its way to the air we breathe.

“We have had these wildfire seasons that have really been going strong out West the past few years, and so this has been kind of a recurring issue,” Edwards said.

Log onto to this website to find out where that smoke is affecting the region from wildfires on the West Coast.

The National Weather Service said the smoke will likely linger for the next week.

“It’s going to ebb and flow within the next few days, so you will notice some improvement in the middle of the week and it may come back in,” Edwards said.

The National Weather Service said air quality will improve when the weather pattern changes significantly.

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