The drought. The heat. Now, this. We just can't catch a break.

The National Weather Service has announced the issuance of an Air Quality Alert for all of Iowa. The culprit? Smoke from wildfires in Canada, and the western part of the United States. Though we've seen smoke over the last few weeks, most of it has remained aloft. That's about to change.

The Air Quality Alert is in effect for the entire state of Iowa until 4 p.m. on Friday, July 30. Here's what the National Weather Service in Des Moines says about the state of Iowa:

Northerly winds behind a cold front are bringing smoke from wildfires out west and in Canada into Iowa. Heavy smoke is expected to arrive early this afternoon in northwest Iowa. The smoke is expected to travel south and east across the state, reaching I-80 by around midnight tonight and extending to southern Iowa by 5 AM Friday. Smoke is expected to remain across much of the state through much of Friday. During this time, fine particle
levels are expected to be in the Orange AQI category, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Fine particle levels will begin to improve around noon on Friday. By mid-afternoon Friday, air quality should improve below alert levels statewide.


Sensitive groups include the elderly, those with respiratory or heart disease and children. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recommends that individuals in these sensitive groups limit prolonged outdoor exertion until air quality conditions improve.

KCCI reports that visibility is under a mile in parts of Minnesota due to the smoke. Though it's tough to see, the words toward the center of the image below, are Minneapolis/St. Paul, already enveloped in that smoke.


You can keep up with air quality HERE.

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