There’s haziness in the air throughout the state of Florida — and it’s coming from thousands of miles away.
The local air quality forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday is “very unhealthy,” according to Accuweather. Officials in Manatee and Sarasota counties also issued press releases warning residents about the smog, which is the result of wildfires in Canada.
“Emissions from ongoing Canadian wildfires paired with predominate wind from the northeast are impacting air quality along the east coast of the United States,” Sarasota County Government wrote.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, Bradenton’s air quality index for PM2.5 — particulate matter that can be inhaled and enter the bloodstream — was 170. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies anything above 100 as “unhealthy.”
Accuweather’s forecast urges “sensitive groups,” such as those with pre-existing respiratory issues, to avoid outdoor activities. People without respiratory problems are also likely to be affected by issues such as throat irritation or difficulty breathing while performing outdoor activities due to the poor air quality.
“People with respiratory ailments may experience health effects during this air advisory and may consider limiting their outdoor activities,” Manatee County Government said in a Tuesday evening press release.
Air quality issues from the Canadian fires are widespread throughout the state, with the smoke affecting the Panhandle, Central Florida and South Florida, according to Accuweather’s maps.
Local weather blogger Mike Boylan, who owns and operates Mike’s Weather Page, says conditions should clear up by the end of the week when a cold front is expected to pass through Florida, bringing cooler temperatures and cleaner air.
“That smoke has made it all the way down to Florida,” Boyland said in a TikTok video posted Tuesday afternoon. “It’s unbelievable, right?”
Manatee and Sarasota counties have issued an advisory warning residents about the air quality. Those advisories are set to end Wednesday evening.