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Air Quality Alert In Massachusetts As Wildfire Smoke Blows Through

A view of the Prudential Tower from Somerville on Monday afternoon. Smoke from the wildfires from the western part of the country and Canada returned to Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A view of the Prudential Tower from Somerville on Monday afternoon. Smoke from the wildfires from the western part of the country and Canada returned to Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

More smoke arrived in Boston Monday afternoon, brought by upper level winds from forest fires in Canada and western United States.

The smoke is thicker than it was last week — it's likely that you could even detect the scent of burning wood.

Boston seen through a smoky haze on Monday evening. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Boston seen through a smoky haze on Monday evening. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

This smoke is a little bit lower in the atmosphere, prompting the National Weather Service to issue an air quality alert. Areas under advisory include most of Massachusetts (excluding the southeastern part of the state and Cape Cod) and northern Connecticut.

Air quality alerts in New England for Monday and Tuesday. (Courtesy NWS)
Air quality alerts in New England for Monday and Tuesday. (Courtesy NWS)

Smoke doesn't necessarily affect the weather, though it can limit the amount of solar radiation enough to keep temperatures a degree or two under their potential. It can also slightly affect the radiation absorbed by something like a solar panel.

If you look at the satellite loop below, you could see the smoke as a thin veil of haze moving eastward. This should make for a pretty nice sunset with that orange orb hanging in the western sky.

In this satellite loop you can see the smoke as a thin veil of haze moving eastward. (Courtesy COD Weather)
In this satellite loop you can see the smoke as a thin veil of haze moving eastward. (Courtesy COD Weather)

On Tuesday, eastern New England is forecast to still have some fairly thick smoke at sunrise, which will make for a beautiful dawn. Sunrise is just after 5:30 a.m. if you're looking to snap some pictures.

Aside from the smoke, it will be mostly sunny on Tuesday with temperatures near 90 degrees, with a few thunderstorms late in the day or during the evening. This will usher in cooler and less humid air for the middle and end of the week.

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David Epstein Twitter Meteorologist
David Epstein is WBUR's meteorologist.

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