DES MOINES, Iowa — Smoke from Canadian wildfires caused hazy conditions across central Iowa Wednesday, and that smoke could bring air quality issues late Thursday.
As the jet stream funneled smoke into central Iowa yesterday, more of it is present today. Wildfires continue to rage in Alberta. As the hot air rises, it takes the smoke with it, travelling as high as the jet stream. The jet stream then directs the smoke along its path, which is currently through central Iowa.
This evening, a low pressure system and cold front will move through the region. It’s possible that the shifting winds and frontal passage could cause the smoke to travel into the lower levels of the atmosphere. This may bring lowered visibilities and a slight smoky smell this evening as the front moves through.
In addition to lowered visibility and a smoky smell, air quality will likely decrease. This was the case in parts of North Dakota as the front moved through yesterday. Air quality may be somewhat worse in northern Iowa as the front looks to arrive sooner there.
The cold front passes overnight, bringing the potential for scattered showers Thursday evening into early Friday morning. Temperatures also will fall to the 60s Friday afternoon. Skies look to clear back out by the weekend and temperatures return to the 70s. Smoke is not expected to be an issue next week.