NWS Urges Caution as Smoky Conditions Increase

NWS urges caution as smoky conditions worsen.
NWS urges caution as smoky conditions worsen.(Rachel Saurer)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Smoke is coming back with a vengeance and air quality alerts are active around the state with many Wyomingites experiencing side effects.

“There’s a lot of ongoing fires across Canada to California and the Pacific Northwest,” said Jared Allen, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for NWS/NOAA. “So depending on where the troughs and ridges of the weather pattern result from then those bring either less smoke or perhaps more smoke depending on those wind flows in the lower and middle parts of the atmosphere.”

As far as smoke is concerned, we are experiencing those less favorable wind patterns, which means in an increase in heavy smoke for us. Allen said that we can expect these conditions to stick around for quite some time -- even though we may get occasional relief here and there.

Because these conditions are here to stay, Allen advised Wyomingites to be mindful of the symptoms that can occur with poor air quality. He said these symptoms can include:

  • Burning eyes, a runny nose, cough, phlegm, wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • People with heart disease may experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue
  • People will lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and may experience coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

“Younger children or more in the elderly variety might have a little more susceptibility to the particulates that are in the smoke,” Allen said. “It can be varying in size from larger particulates to bigger particulates and those can kind of get deep into the lungs sometimes so if you have asthma or if you have respiratory diseases of any of the sort you might be a little more vulnerable to the smoke that’s in the air.”

In especially poor conditions, the NWS recommends staying inside if possible and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

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