Shifting winds will likely bring some smoke from northern wildfires through the Red Deer area on Tuesday.
Natalie Hasell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said instead of coming from the southeast as it has been, the wind will be from the north.
The forecast calls for 30 km/h wind from the north, gusting to 50 in the morning, with smoke in the morning and afternoon.
“There are many, many fires in central and northern Alberta. So if your wind shifts to be out of the north, you could see a pretty strong influx of smoke,” Hasell said.
“It looks like it will mostly remain aloft so the concentration at the surface might not be too, too bad. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the forecast changes a little.”
Air quality for Red Deer on Tuesday is forecast to climb to four on a 10-plus scale.
According to the air quality health index, one to three means there is a low health risk, four to six indicates a moderate risk, seven to 10 is high risk, and 10 plus is very high.
A special air quality statement is only released if conditions continue for more than two hours at 7 and above.
Red Deer has two air quality stations, one in Lancaster and the other at Riverside Drive.
Red Deer air quality information is available at: weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/abaq-003_e.html.
Hasell said the forecast calls for cooler weather starting Tuesday, but the temperature will rise again on Friday to a high of 29 C, and 30 C on both Saturday and Sunday.
Red Deer’s temperature record for May 20 is 30 C, and for May 21 the record is 31.1 C.
She said there’s a slight chance of rain on Monday, but that could bring with it a risk of lightning which could help spread the wildfires.
To see interactive maps of fire danger conditions, visit the Canadian Wildland fire Information System at https://cwfis.cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/home.