When will it end? Rain could clear smoky South Coast skies
A change in winds Friday and cold front Saturday could help air quality — and possibly firefighters
A rainy summer weekend in Vancouver? Bring it on.
Environment Canada says a change is coming that could clear smoke-filled skies on the South Coast and possibly help with wildfire-fighting efforts in the B.C. Interior.
The first step is forecast for Friday, where winds from the south are forecast to blow the lingering smoke inland and away from the coast.
"There is a trough of low pressure coming this weekend, so, as early as Friday, we will see some southwesterly wind aloft, pushing into the South Coast," said meteorologist Cindy Yu.
- Wet weather welcome in B.C. but it won't be enough to douse wildfires
- Kamloops experiencing worst air quality in its recorded history
- Health risk from smoky skies off the charts in parts of B.C.
Then, a cold front is expected, bringing rain for Saturday night and Sunday.
"We are hoping that will redeposit some of the fine particulates back onto the ground so it will clear out our air."
It's also expected to cool the region back to seasonal temperatures in the low 20s.
For now, an air quality advisory remains in place for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
'Very unusual' lingering smoke
People living in parts of the Interior have dealt with smoky skies for a month as hundreds of wildfires burned there.
Watch smoke arrive
In the Vancouver area, smoke rolled in late July 31 as outflow winds pushed air from the Interior to the coast.
The fine particulate matter was visible — but high in the atmosphere — on Aug. 1 before socking in lower levels the following day.
Winds from the Interior happen regularly, but the lingering smoke, cradled by the topography of the South Coast, is uncommon, said Yu.
"The extent of the smoke is actually very unusual."
The Sea-to-Sky corridor, where Whistler also saw "very high risk" air last week on the Air Quality Health Index, is also expected to see some clearing with the forecast rain, but it may take longer at higher elevations.