Gusty thunderstorms should sweep away the smoke and haze

Smoke and haze from hundreds of western wildfires is obscuring the skies from central Ontario into southern Quebec and across the Great Lakes and New England. The smog, haze and smoke has lowered air quality across a wide area. The smoke has also resulted in spectacular sunsets and a reddish/orange moon Monday evening that received plenty of attention over eastern Ontario and southern Quebec.

If you thought the sky was odd looking the last few days, you would be right. Smoke from over 800 wildfires burning across western Canada has produced blood red moons and spectacular sunsets across eastern North America. The smoke has also diminished air quality, resulting in numerous advisories and smog warnings over a large portion of Ontario and Quebec, including metro Montreal and Ottawa. Not only is the smoke limiting visibility and blocking out the blue skies, it has made breathing a challenge for many. Smog can impact asthmatic children and people with respiratory ailments or heart disease. Those who suffer are being asked to limit outdoor activities until the warnings are lowered.

 The smoke, haze and smog should lift later this evening after the passage of a potent cold front from Ontario. The front is already producing thunderstorms across Ontario early this afternoon, and they will spread south and east into Quebec later today. A few may be strong, with gusty winds, hail and heavy rainfall. 

Conditions have been warm and humid as well, with a few scattered storms rumbling about on Monday, but very little rainfall in Montreal. This afternoons storms will be a little more widespread, with showers persisting into the overnight. Wednesday is expected to remain cloudy in the St. Lawrence Valley, along with showers, and much cooler. Daytime highs will be in the lows 20s. The smoke and haze should dissipate as well for at least the short-term period.

Stephen Balena is Production Manager and weather blogger at The Suburban

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