Rain, change in wind direction improve air quality

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, September 17, 2017

By Marianne Combs, Minnesota Public Radio News

A cold front is moving through the Midwest and with it will come an improvement in air quality across Minnesota.

Relief from smoke from western wildfires and ozone should last for at least the next several days, according to senior forecaster Joe Calderone of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

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He said rain in the forecast will also help conditions.

“First of all, with the rain, that will help clean things out, and number two, because of the fact that our air will be coming more from the north as opposed to the west in the upper levels, that will bring a little bit of a cease, if you will, from the worse quality air that we’ve seen from the western United States,” he said.

Calderone said he can’t rule out a return of smoke drifting to Minnesota from western wildfires.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued air quality warnings due to smoke and high levels of ozone on Thursday and Friday for portions of central and southern Minnesota.