DEEP Forecasts Unhealthy Levels of PM2.5 Wednesday for the Entire State from Canadian Wildfire Smoke
(HARTFORD)—Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is expecting smoke from wildfires over Quebec to elevate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels on Wednesday, June 7th. These levels are expected to exceed Unhealthy levels for the entire state.
Health Effects of PM 2.5 Air Pollution
When air quality is forecasted to be Unhealthy, there is an increased likelihood for all individuals for aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly. There are also increased respiratory effects in the general population.
How do Forest Fires in Quebec Impact Connecticut?
Major wildfires are still burning across Quebec, most of which are out of control. The wildfire smoke from Quebec is being funneled into Connecticut because of a stalled upper-level low-pressure system over Nova Scotia. With this weather pattern, winds at all levels of the atmosphere are from the north and northwest and these winds will persist through Wednesday. The following image shows the fire locations with the smoke plumes from the EPA Fire and Smoke Map. The satellite image from today shows a thick smoke plume over Connecticut, with an even a thicker smoke plume over New York State. Currently, the PM2.5 levels at the surface are in the Unhealthy range and are expected to persist in this range throughout the day.
EPA Fire and Smoke Map, June 7, 2023, 8:53 a.m., showing fires over Quebec with high PM2.5 levels.
Visible Satellite Map, June 7, 2023, 8:00 a.m., showing smoke plume over Connecticut.
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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 fine particulate matter (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 E-mail 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 a high ozone day, and most importantly what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone in your backyard.