Lincoln, NE (September 16, 2020) The air quality has become increasingly smoky the past couple of days. The cold front that’s passing thru the area has been a major contributor, letting more smoke filter down to the surface. Dirk Petersen at the National Weather Service told KFOR News that California and Colorado smoke have contributed.
“The smoke is pretty much what the haziness is entirely. The last couple days, we’ve had hardly anything to make any kind of clouds.”
Peterson says after Thursday, when the cold front moves out, there should be less smoke making its way down to the ground, but it will continue to pass high overhead, riding on the jet stream.
“A lot of what we’ve been seeing here over the last couple days has been coming from the Front Range burning and some of it from the West Coast.”
Petersen says the air should clear up after the air warms up with the passing of the cold front.
“We’ve been seeing the smoke start to mix down toward the surface a little more than we have over the last couple days since we’ve had this cold front moving through.”
He adds it will NOT be as bad as the smoke from the annual spring fires in the Flint Hills.
“That stuff gets trapped in a pretty shallow layer overnight and can help concentrations be a whole lot higher than they would ever be with any Colorado or Rocky Mountain smoke in our area.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Lincoln’s Air Quality was rated as “Moderate” by the Health Department. It advises that anyone sensitive to particulate pollution consider reducing their activity level or shorten active times outdoors. Lincoln’s Air Quality Index is updated hourly and can be accessed anytime at https://lincoln.ne.gov/city/health/environ/Air.htm