Weather

Limit time outside: Smoky haze could create issues for sensitive groups on Thursday

Posted July 10, 2021 7:11 a.m. EDT
Updated July 22, 2021 11:22 a.m. EDT

A smoky haze from wildfires in the western United States will continue to impact central North Carolina on Thursday.

Air quality for Thursday is forecast to be a Code Orange, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Children, elderly, those with heart and lung disease and people exercising are encouraged to limit time outdoors.

The smoke is getting to North Carolina in part due to the jet stream and will continue for the next several days.

"It's probably going to be for a couple of days that we'll see this pattern," said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner.

Air quality weakening as smoky haze from wildfires enters North Carolina

We'll see a lot of sunshine amid the haze with temperatures in the 70s as you head out the door on Thursday. A slight drop in the humidity makes it feel nicer.

Our temps will top out in the upper 80s, but it will feel more like the mid 90s with the heat index. There is little chance (10%) for rain.

Highs will be in the low 90s for Friday.

"Try to get our outdoor plans in either early in the morning or late in the day," said WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell.

Isolated afternoon showers will be possible on Friday - but storms will be nothing out of the ordinary - according to Campbell. We'll still likely see smoke, but the rain could help remove some of those particles from the air.

Once we get to the end of the week and into the weekend, a shift in direction for upper-level wind should help to cut off the hazy smoke, according to Campbell.

Current Temperatures, DMA

"I think we'll see more blue in the sky once we get to the weekend," she added.

Saturday looks partly cloudy with a few showers possible. Highs will range from the upper 80s to low 90s.

Campbell said meteorologists are also tracking Saharan dust moving out of Africa and over the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecast: Next 3 days

"This is actually great news and pretty common for this time of year," said Campbell, adding that the dusty and dry desert air will suppress tropical development through the end of July.

"While some plumes of dust are forecast to arrive in the Gulf, air quality is unlikely to be an issues because the particles are so high in the atmosphere," said Campbell.

7-Day Forecast

There is a low chance an area of low pressure could develop off the southeast coast later this week, but Campbell said it won't be a major concern.

"This would be a 'home grown' system," she said. "The main tropical development region remains quiet thanks to Saharan dust, which is great news."

In Tokyo, temperatures will likely be in the upper 70s with just a 20 percent chance for rain for the opening ceremonies.

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