Chris Schulz Published

Air Quality Advisory Likely To Move On Before Severe Weather

A long-range shot over the Monongahela River valley shows the increasing haze and lack of visibility from smoke and particulates in the air, caused by Canadian wildfires. The image shows two buildings in the foreground with cars parked in front. In the midfield can be seen more buildings on the left, and a water tower on the right, obstructed by haze. In the deep background can only be seen the suggestion of a ridgeline.
A view over the Monongahela River Valley near Morgantown shows the limited visibility on June 29, 2023.
Chris Schulz/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a statewide air quality advisory for fine particulate matter through Monday at midnight. As with previous air quality incidents this summer, the source are wildfires in Canada.

Nick Webb, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston, said storms moving through the state might bring temporary relief.

“I don’t think it would last before [the smoke] would move back in,” he said. “Essentially, the rain would help bring that particulate matter down to the ground level almost.”

Webb said the smoke and haze should start to clear up Tuesday as winds shift to blow east.

“Any sustained relief, that’s going to depend on the wind direction in the upper levels of the atmosphere,” he said.

There is a possibility for severe weather across the state through Thursday.

“Today is a slight risk for severe weather with damaging winds being the main threat along with torrential rainfall,” Webb said. “Probably the more significant system we’re looking at is Wednesday and Thursday that right now looks to affect mainly the southern half of the state.”