B.C. BlueSky map shows Canada's wildfire smoke forecast
Did you know you can check an animated forecast of where Canada's wildfire smoke is heading?
On Wednesday, Candace Green, who lives in Fort St. John, B.C., a 45-minute drive from Hudson's Hope, said her community was exceptionally smoky.
"There's ash raining from the sky, which is kind of apocalyptic," she said. "It's been muggy and smoky and ashy. The sun looks like a little red dot."
"I've been here 20 years and I've never seen this," Green said. "It seems like everything's on fire," she said, adding smoke from a blaze in Banff is also affecting the community.
The smoke from numerous wildfires in B.C., Alberta, and even the Northwest Territories has been casting a haze across communities all over western Canada.
And while NASA has been sharing detailed satellite images showing the spread of the forest fire haze, the images can quickly get out-of-date.
For more up-to-the-minute information, there's an online animated map of Western Canada that shows a forecast of where all that wildfire smoke is going and how intense it will be.
The forecast system operates out of the University of British Columbia and combines satellite imagery, information on the amount of forest fuel burning, and weather patterns, and displays the results as an animated map.
Provincial air science specialist Steve Sakiyama, one of the tool's developers, says the haze predictions try to estimate the hourly air impacts due to forest fire smoke, looking up to 48 hours into the future.
"It produces a forecast of the smoke into every hour into the future, both the location and the concentration," he told CBC News.
"These patterns will animate so it will give you an hour and then the next hour, and the next hour up to about two days into the future. So you'll see this interesting pattern that gives you some idea where the smoke will go."
Sakiyama says, as with all forecasting systems, the program is still being developed for better accuracy.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC's Brady Strachan