Siberian smoke wafts across ocean, adds to air particulate
Haze in the air over Metro Vancouver is being blamed on smoke wafting across the Pacific from huge wildfires in Siberia.
The smoke rising in Asia soars thousands of feet in the atmosphere and then is carried here by air currents before being forced closer to ground level by the same high pressure system that brought the hot clear weather his past weekend.
"We have perfect conditions right now where it's being transported right to B.C. and then that smoke is being drawn down down to the surface," said Ken Reid, Metro Vancouver's superintendent of environmental sampling and monitoring.
It's resulted in fine particulate levels almost double what the Fraser Valley would normally see, he said.
Big wildfires are also burning in Colorado but Reid said it's unlikely to be carried here with the current weather patterns.
Homegrown smog could also worsen air quality in the region, but Reid said that hasn't happened yet.
Higher temperatures could be coming towards the end of the week, he said, possibly causing more smog by then.
So far Metro officials are watching conditions and haven't yet issued any air quality advisories.
One of the tools air quality experts are using is a network of automated cameras that show the visibility at key sites around the region. They can be viewed online at clearairbc.ca.