Wildfire smoke thinning, air quality improving

Southerly winds pushing thickest smoke away from Minnesota.

Air Quality Index Wednesday afternoon
Air Quality Index Wednesday afternoon
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

A shift in wind direction is pushing thinning wildfire smoke plumes over Minnesota Wednesday.

Tuesday’s northerly winds pushed in what appears to be the highest concentration of smoke particulates on record across Minnesota. But wind direction shifted into the southeast Wednesday across Minnesota. Here’s the wind flow forecast for 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Wind forecast for 5 pm Wednesday
Wind forecast for 5 p.m. Wednesday
NOAA

Our southerly wind flow continues into Thursday. The southerly wind direction will continue to thin wildfire smoke across Minnesota. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s HRRR vertically integrated smoke product shows the smoke layer thinning across Minnesota Wednesday night into Thursday.

NOAA HRRR model vertically integrated smoke product
NOAA HRRR model vertically integrated smoke product
NOAA

Air quality across Minnesota has improved significantly since Tuesday’s invasion of thick smoke from the north produced what is likely the highest particulate matter readings on record for parts of Minnesota.

Most reporting stations report the particulate matter in the good to moderate range as of Wednesday afternoon, with some higher readings in the Red River Valley.

Air Quality Index Wednesday afternoon
Air Quality Index Wednesday afternoon
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Forecasts favor better air quality readings the next few days across Minnesota.

Air quality forecast for the Twin Cities
Air quality forecast for the Twin Cities
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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