Texas wildfire smoke drifts toward Minnesota

A helicopter carries a water bucket
A helicopter carries a water bucket as it flies over homes burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fire on Wednesday in Canadian, Texas.
Julio Cortez | AP

It won’t be anything near the scale of the thick haze that blanketed Minnesota for so many days last summer — but some smoke from massive wildfires in Texas could drift across the Upper Midwest over the next couple of days.

The same gusty southerly winds that’ll bring much warmer air to the region Thursday and Friday may also carry smoke from the Texas Panhandle.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reported Thursday morning that satellite observations showed some smoke from the Great Plains into southwest Minnesota — though for the most part, air quality readings remained in the green, or good, category.

“Southerly winds will continue to transport this smoke further north-northeast into Minnesota through the afternoon, and dispersion of the smoke will increase with time due to better atmospheric mixing from warming temperatures and increasing winds,” the MPCA reported.

Some air quality readings in the yellow, or moderate, category are possible across southern Minnesota later Thursday.

Additional smoke may drift across Minnesota on Friday, but the MPCA said concentrations are expected to be lower than on Thursday.

Breezy, unseasonably warm conditions should keep air quality in the good category statewide for the weekend.

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