Press Releases

DEEP News Release Header


DEEP Forecasts Elevated Levels of PM2.5 from Smoke Today

(HARTFORD)—Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is expecting smoke from wildfires over Nova Scotia to elevate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels for several hours today. These levels are expected to exceed Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) levels for a period of four hours, beginning after 2:00 p.m. today.

Health Effects of PM2.5 Air Pollution

When air quality is forecasted to be USG, there is an increased likelihood that individuals in sensitive groups will develop respiratory symptoms, that aggravation of heart or lung disease could occur, and persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly could experience premature mortality. Children and people with asthma or other lung disease are most at risk for experiencing these symptoms. Active children and adults, and people with impaired lung function or cardiovascular disease, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. If you can smell smoke in the air, then levels are probably high enough to affect sensitive individuals.

How do Forest Fires in Nova Scotia Impact Connecticut?

The smoke’s arrival from Nova Scotia is due to an unusual weather pattern that will bring easterly surface winds over Connecticut. This weather pattern will allow the smoke plume south of Nova Scotia to move west towards southern New England. The following image shows the fire location with the smoke plume from the EPA Fire and Smoke Map. The satellite image from 8:30 a.m. today shows a thick smoke plume heading west over Cape Cod. Currently, the PM2.5 levels at the surface are in the good range, but modeling forecasts smoke to reach ground level this afternoon. DEEP expects USG PM2.5 levels moving west over Connecticut to peak around 7:00 p.m. The highest PM2.5 levels are expected to last about four (4) hours at any one location in Connecticut as the smoke moves westward this afternoon. Air quality should rapidly improve later in the evening.

EPA Fire and Smoke

EPA Fire and Smoke Map, May 30, 2023 showing fire over Nova Scotia.

May 30th Satellite Image

Visible Satellite Map, May 30, 2023 8:40 a.m., showing smoke plume over Cape Cod.

RAP Smoke model

RAP-Smoke Model showing forecast surface smoke PM2.5 at 7:00 p.m.

Stay connected and access the daily AQI forecast and real-time air quality data:

  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Sign up to get Air-Quality alerts through Enviroflash
  • Visit DEEP’s AQI webpage or call 800-249-1234
  • Go to EPA’s AIRNow web page
  • Download EPA’s AIRnow app for your phone

Ambient Air Monitoring

DEEP monitors, tracks, and forecasts daily air quality levels across Connecticut for ozone from May 1st through September 30th each year and for PM2.5 each day of the year. On April 30, 2023, DEEP began informing Connecticut’s regulated community and the general public of the ozone season via the State of Connecticut email list serve and posting air quality forecasts on the DEEP web page, available here

DEEP encourages daycare providers, summer camps and elder/senior centers to subscribe to the Air Quality Index (AQI). Subscribing to the AQI is fast and easy and will provide you with important information each day about Connecticut’s air quality through the spring and summer. The AQI link provides facts and information regarding ground-level ozone, its health effects, what to do on high ozone days, and most importantly what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone in your backyard. 

Twitter: @CTDEEPNews
Facebook: DEEP on Facebook


DEEP Communications