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U.S. wildfire smoke will return to Metro Vancouver this week

Wildfire smoke – this time from California – is expected to threaten Vancouver's air quality starting Wednesday
Photo: Instagram/Jimmycl1011

Residents of Metro Vancouver have welcomed back sunshine and clear skies this week – but that’s expected to change.

More wildfire smoke is on its way to the region, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Carmen Hartt, which will deteriorate air quality for the next week.

“A ridge of high-pressure weather systems in the region is steering wildfire smoke from California right across the northern border,” Hartt explained.

The first sign of the smoke? Hazy skies to be seen Tuesday night in Vancouver.

“We might start to see the smoke come aloft on the sky tonight. Tomorrow, when it gets down to the surface, it becomes an air quality issue,” Hartt said.

“The good news is that there is not as much smoke coming and it’s coming from farther away this time."

Washington State wildfires are not the size they were when Vancouver air became among the worst in the world from their wafting smoke.

The ranking saw Vancouver place higher than megacities including Shanghai and New Delhi.
AIRPhoto: Environment Canada

Hartt explained that Environment Canada uses an index – on a scale of one to 10+ – to forecast and monitor air quality.

Back in mid-September, Metro Vancouver experienced four days straight of 10+ air quality from wildfire smoke. This week’s weather event is expected to see the air quality in the 2 to 4 range.

“We don't see it being as bad,” Hartt said, “but smoke could stick around for the weekend.”