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Smoke, haze may soon lift across Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

Last Updated Aug 8, 2017 at 6:38 am PDT

FILE: The sunrise through smoke and haze in Metro Vancouver. (Aug. 2017) (Darren Grieve, NEWS 1130 Photo)

There may be some rain for Metro Vancouver by this weekend

Poor air quality has persisted for a couple of weeks

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s been a couple of weeks since an air quality advisory was issued for the Lower Mainland and you’re being asked to be patient just a little while longer.

Forecasters say the outflow winds that have been bringing all the smoke this way from wildfires in the Interior are expected to change direction later this week. The marine wind should bring an end to the hazy conditions, or at the very least, improve the air quality.

“It will take a significant shift in the overall upper atmosphere in order to begin breaking up this curtain of haze and smoke blanketing so much of the province and that change is already becoming evidence further offshore. So as it stands, those longer range charts are supporting an influx of clouds and possibly rain around the mid-point of the upcoming weekend,” explains NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate.

Meantime, Environment Canada has issued yet another special air quality statement warning people with chronic conditions to limit any activity outside, if possible. “Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size,” says the agency in a statement.

Anyone with chronic underlying health conditions as well as the very young and very old should try to stay indoors until things clear.

“Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution,” says Environment Canada.

Click here for real-time information about air quality.