We've seen no shortage of smoke in Strathmore thanks to the B.C wildfires, which led some people to declare this the smokiest summer ever. Weather Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada Justin Shelley explained if you felt this way, it wasn't just your imagination.
"As of September 4, Calgary has seen 482 smoke hours; what we consider a smoke hour is when visibility is reduced to less than 10 kilometres by smoke. 482 [hours] for 2023 breaks the old record from 2018 when there were 450 smoke hours," Shelley said.
Although there is no specific data for Strathmore specifically, Shelley said that because of its proximity to Calgary, Strathmore has likely also surpassed the same record. Shelley underlined that it is difficult to predict smoke forecasts due to the volatility of the wildfire situation, as well as wind directions.
"Considering the activity of wildfires ongoing in B.C. and the Northwest Territories, we can expect to see more smoke as we head into the next couple of weeks and likely through the end of the month," he said.
When asked if there is any wildfire smoke from fires burning in the province, Shelley said that the wildfire situation in Alberta is predominantly under control, though he underlined that this does not mean there are no wildfires in the province.
"There are still ongoing wildfires in Central and Northern Alberta [and] we certainly have some levels of smoke being emitted from those fires which would get caught up in the larger scale flow," he said. "Predominantly, we're seeing the most activity in the B.C. area right now, followed by the Northwest Territories."
Strathmore and the surrounding areas have been under a special air quality statement for the past few days and local forecasts are predicting the smoke to continue for at least the rest of today (Wednesday, Sept. 6).
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