Warning: Unhealthy Haze Returning To Minnesota This Week
Just when the nice, warmer spring weather is finally here, unhealthy, hazy skies are set to return to Minnesota this week too.
If your allergies have been bothering you lately in Minnesota, you're not alone. The Minnesota Department of Health notes that outside of the fall season of late August and September, April and May are the worst times of the year for allergies caused by pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses.
And now, parts of Minnesota are set to be affected by hazy skies that could also cause problems. Fine particle levels are expected to reach the orange air quality index (AQI) category, a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
It's all thanks to smoke from wildfires burning up in Canada along with just the right weather pattern to usher that smoke down to us here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Here's more from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA):
A band of smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan is currently moving east across Ontario. A strong cold front will dive south overnight and begin pulling this smoke south towards Minnesota. Sinking air behind the front will bring this smoke to the surface.
And that has caused the MPCA to issue an Air Quality Alert for the northern half of Minnesota on Tuesday, May 16th. The MCPA says air will become unhealthy for sensitive groups and pollution may aggravate heart and lung disease as well as cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.
While the alert only affects areas well north of the Twin Cities and St. Cloud right now, even southeast Minnesota could be affected in the coming days. ABC-6 TV Chief Meteorologist Chris Kuball noted the band of smoke will likely be noticeable in Rochester on Wednesday.
The MN Air Quality Index on the MPCA Twitter page has noted that Rochester's air quality forecast for Wednesday will dip into the Yellow category-- not as serious as orange but notably different from normal.