ROANOKE, Va. – UPDATE
The Weather Authority Alert issued for Monday, July 17, 2023, due to haze and air quality across the region has been lifted.
A Weather Authority Alert Day has been issued for Monday, July 17, 2023, due to haze and air quality across the region. The alert is set to expire at 9 p.m.
See our update from 7:40 p.m. below.
Low pressure to the north and high pressure to the south are funneling in winds from the north and west, which is bringing in smoke from Canadian wildfires.
At 7 p.m. Monday night, the majority of the thick smoke has moved to the east. Lynchburg and Southside will still be dealing with heavier smoke at this time, but it will lighten up shortly after sunset.
Our air quality today has been bouncing back and forth between the moderate and unhealthy (sensitive) categories.
There is currently NO air quality alert in effect because the air quality will gradually improve through the hours of the early evening. The thick and dense smoke will move out overnight and our air quality will improve through Tuesday morning.
To stay updated on changes to the air quality index (aqi), you can download our weather app.
At 7 p.m., our air quality index is mostly in the moderate category but is in the unhealthy (sensitive) and unhealthy categories in high elevated areas. Some examples are Mill Mountain and Poor Mountain.
It would be best to avoid outdoor activities that include going to the mountain tops until tomorrow afternoon, especially if you are sensitive to changes in air quality.
Near-surface smoke will lighten up later this evening, but some areas will still have patches of dense haze and smoke. If you are in the areas shaded in blue, your air quality will improve the quickest through the night. Our eastern zones will improve, but the timing will be slower.
Pictures of sunsets and sunrises can be sent directly to us via Pin It.
Smoke and haze will thin significantly tomorrow, but it will still be hazy out there. Again, sensitive groups should limit time outdoors.
The majority of the heavier smoke at the surface will have moved on by 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. At the surface, there will still be a very light film of smoke and haze for most of us, but we will be clearing up through the day.
Air quality is expected to be better tomorrow. Some areas that are in high elevations will still be in the moderate category, and those highlighted in yellow above will also be in the moderate category to start off the morning. Throughout the day, all zones should be in the ‘good’ category for air quality.
The exception is high elevated areas. These areas will see improvement in air quality, but it will be more gradual due to smoke being thicker at higher levels of the atmosphere.