A thick smoke plume caused by a northern Minnesota wildfire is rolling south through Iowa on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service said in a warning statement that this smoke is likely to cause a significant decline in air quality and may result in difficult breathing. The National Weather Service (NWS) also warned to those with asthma or other respiratory problems that they might need to take the necessary precautions to insure their safety this morning.

Twin Cities overlook
Looking past the rooftop of City Hall from downtown Minneapolis, a haze caused by Canadian wildfires surrounds the city and its surroundings. Image Credit: Star Tribune

Also, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed on their 2 km resolution satellite a loop that indicates a significant smoke plume over Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, drifting southeast toward Minnesota. Maybe rain will help dissipate the smoke over Minnesota but it’s the kind of news that might be needed on Canada.

The Hot & Cold Canada

The temperatures in Fort McMurray reached a record 91 degrees on Tuesday. Also, gusty winds fanned the flames that drove the massive wildfire quickly into town. Therefore leading to dangerous fire weather conditions that might continue this Saturday.

Moreover, many wildfires have covered Alberta, Canada, where firefighters are still battling massive wildfires that forced mass evacuations of some 80,000 people earlier this week.

Those fires have been burning since Sunday, some 1,400 miles to the northwest of the Twin Cities. Surrounding Fort McMurray, forcing tens of thousands of Canadians to flee their charred neighborhoods.

Canadian police are escorting a convoy of evacuees through the wreckage out of the oil sands camps where they had been staying since Tuesday. So far, as many as 8,000 people have been airlifted to safety, where it might take more than a few days to people to go back home.

Smoke risks in Minnesota?

Central and southern Minnesota are still targeted, with additional smoke in the north from the two local wildfires that are burning.  There will be the need to be diligent about outdoor activities this Saturday, as smoke could move in and out from time to time. Smoke-smelling is in the air, so sensitive groups should head indoors until the smoke smell clears, then it will be safe enough to head back outside.

This has given much of the area a pretty thick coating of smoke.  Combining that with at least one fairly large wildfire burning in the northern part of the state, and you have the recipe for a smelly and unhealthy atmosphere.

Source: Star Tribune