An orange alert was issued Tuesday by the federal agency, which uses ground monitors to access air quality, warning residents that the air quality affected by the lingering smoke is generally unhealthy for people with sensitivities to smoke and other pollutants. That could mean everything from watery eyes to respiratory issues or hospital visits, weather officials say.
The smoke was expected to improve late Tuesday "but when it will completely clear out, we can’t say,” said Melissa Watson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
What's causing the hazy sky?
The Canadian smoke — reminiscent of Brevard's own bout with brush fires — joins a list of other elements that occasionally impact the weather in Central Florida, including African dust from the Sahara Desert and other brush fires that pop up in Central America, weather officials say.
The result of massive wildfires that have burned through 42 million acres in eastern Canada in recent months, the smoke is impacting air quality as far south as New York City and leaving swaths of the U.S. covered in the murky haze.
Air quality, visibility issues
The smoke pushed its way into the Atlantic before offshore winds moved it onto the east coast of Florida late Sunday. The haze has decreased air visibility and now — according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — has dropped the air quality level for the Space Coast and surrounding counties.
Health First officials say there has been no uptick in visits as a result of the smoke. No visibility issues were reported but the haze was clearly visible in portions of Brevard, combining with the humidity left behind by a week of rain.
The smoky air is expected to blow toward the Gulf of Mexico as sea breezes pick up.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Air quality alert: Haze from Canadian blaze blankets Brevard, Florida