UPDATE (2:40PM): Ozone concentrations are expected to be in the good to mid-moderate range for today and tomorrow, EGLE reported earlier today.
Winds start to shift throughout the day today as the weather pattern the area has been under the past few days finally starts to change. Winds, which have been predominantly north to northeast this week, will shift to more north to northwest for today and eventually shift to more westerly later this evening into Saturday. The northerly component of the wind today will still pick up and bring wildfire smoke to the Thumb region and southeastern parts of Michigan. The westerly component of the wind will help keep wildfire smoke concentrations out of the mid and western parts of the state. However, there may still be areas that see hourly concentrations the more west you go, but overall PM-2.5 concentrations should be in the moderate range for mid- and western parts of Michigan.
The past few days have seen concentrations well into the unhealthy range with these plumes, which is why the air quality alert for this area is being extended through midnight tonight, EGLE said. Winds tomorrow look to be mainly west to southwest, which will help keep wildfire smoke out of the area for the time being. Some leftover PM-2.5 concentrations may still be in the area, but concentrations will be in the good to moderate range. Since winds will be west to southwest, there is a chance of increased ozone tomorrow for southwest Michigan, with some models showing hourly USG values. An air quality alert is not being planned for ozone tomorrow, but EGLE forecast will be updated and reevaluated tomorrow to look at updated models and forecasts.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) reported that the air quality action day advisory will lift by noon today.
The latest maps show the PM2.5 is between 110 and 121 in the Detroit-Winsdor area. The Oakwood Heights area is the lowest at 110; Dearborn is the highest at 121.
According to EGLE’s AirNow, the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with heart and lung disease, older adults, pregnant people, children, teens and people who spend a lot of time outside. For those groups especially, EGLE recommends that, if they go outside and experience any symptoms, to go back and stay inside or, if it’s necessary to go outside, to wear a well-fitting N-95 mask. The department stated that everyone else keep their outdoor activities light and short.
PM2.5, or fine particulate matter, are tiny inhalable air-pollutant particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated. Those particles can get into a person’s lungs or bloodstream. It becomes a great concern for people’s health when levels of it are high.
The Environmental Protection Agency considers a level of 12.5 over a 24-hour period as a good level. If the level goes above 35 in a 24-hour period, it’s considered unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups.