Air Quality Expected To Decrease In High Country This Afternoon

Last Updated on November 18, 2016 12:49 pm

The High Country is projected to see the return of smoke from wildfires to our south and southeast this afternoon, according to the North Carolina Air Quality Forecast Center.

In a statement on their Facebook page, NCAQFC says:

Poor air quality will build over a large part of western and central North Carolina Friday as high pressure moves overhead and winds (which have largely moved from north to south in recent days) reverse out of the south and west. Smoke primarily will blow north, then eastward across the state for most of Friday. The fires burning across western NC as well as far-northern GA and far-upstate SC have generally produced similar or lesser amounts of smoke than in recent days. However, the concern tomorrow is that these smoke plumes will move other wildfire sites downwind, and increase the concentration and spread of the smoke plume within North Carolina Friday as compared to today. The main concerns will be over the southern Mountains, southern Foothills and the western/central Piedmont, where Code Orange to Code Red conditions will be possible. Code Red conditions will be most likely immediately downwind from the fires themselves. Code Orange air quality is possible Friday over the Charlotte forecast region, mainly for northern portions of the region including Iredell and Rowan Counties. Additional areas of Code Orange air quality will be possible from the midday hours onward across the northern Mountains and northern Foothills. Depending on how far the smoke plume gets, then Code Orange concerns could extend as far east as the Triangle region. The current consensus is that daily particle pollution values will remain in the upper Code Yellow range Friday in the Triangle, and this forecast will be reviewed closely for any updates come Friday morning.

If you can see heavy haze and smell smoke, then air quality is not good and you should limit your outdoor activities. This is particularly important for sensitive groups – that is, children, older adults, people with heart and respiratory problems, and those who work and exercise outside for extended times.


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