Much of Michigan is under a veil of smoke as wildfires continue to rage in northern portions of the state and further north and east into Canada.
It's the reason our skies have been rather hazy the past several days. Every once in a while, the smoke gets close enough to the ground that we can smell it - a scent akin to a campfire, but more worrisome when you consider a much more dangerous situation is underway.
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What Parts of Michigan Are Being Affected by Wildfire Smoke?
According to WILX News 10 First Alert Meteorologist Justin Bradford, much of Michigan is currently in an "Air Quality Alert" through Thursday, June 8th for pollutants that are unhealthy for sensitive groups, and occasionally unhealthy for everyone. The map below shows the affected areas.
As a matter of fact, according to IQAir.com, the air quality scores in Detroit and Lansing are among the worst cities in the world as of June 8.
Since Michigan's prevailing winds are currently from the northeast - and that is where the fires are - that puts us directly downwind, hence all the smoke.
When Can Michigan Expect Relief From the Wildfire Smoke?
"The upper air wind pattern should start to change over the next few days, so more of the smoke will be sort of shoved off to the east of us as the wind becomes more northwesterly," says Bradford.
The meteorologist expects most of Michigan to remain dry into the weekend, but some much needed rain will finally return to the area on Saturday night.
"We have chances for rain on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, though none of these are all-day rains. Temperatures will top out in the lower to middle 70s on each of these days," says Bradford.
Is The Current Problem With Wildfire Smoke in Michigan Unusual?
According to Bradford, this is definitely not something that is very common, especially this time of year when we normally have plenty of healthy rains.
"Since April 5th, Lansing is in its driest stretch on record that has ever occurred during this time of year. We have not seen a drop in Lansing since May 19th," Bradford says. "By the time rain falls this weekend it will have been more than three weeks with absolutely no rainfall in the Capital City."
If you think the smoke's bad in Michigan, check out some other areas of the country.