The North Carolina Division of Air Quality issues forecasts for fine particulate matter year-round and ozone from March through October. Forecasts and discussions are updated each afternoon for the next three days, and are sometimes updated in the morning to reflect the latest ambient conditions.
This forecast was issued on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 3:44 pm.
This is an old forecast that is no longer valid.
Today's Air Quality Conditions
Today fine particulate concentrations continue to rise into the mid-to-upper Code Yellow range statewide, with localized Code Orange and Red conditions occurring in the Triad as the frontal boundary moves southeast. Current ozone concentrations are rising into the Code Yellow range in the Mountains and Piedmont, with localized Code Orange values in the Triad and southeast of Charlotte into Union County.
General Forecast Discussion
On Wednesday, smoke from Canadian wildfires already entrenched over North Carolina will continue to be an issue due to the meteorological setup. The main plume of enhanced fine particulate values will continue to drift southeastward across the state and mix down to the surface. Although the overhead plume appears to begin dissipating over the northern portion of the state throughout the day, cloud cover that will develop over this same region will likely trap the elevated PM values already at the surface by reducing mixing. We anticipate that any precipitation over the northern counties will be relatively light and even possibly enhance surface particulate matter values by pushing smoke down to lower levels. A Code RED Air Quality Action Day is being issued for portions of the northern Coastal Plain, Piedmont (including the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte metro areas), and northern Mountain regions effective midnight tonight (6/6/23) through midnight tomorrow (6/7/23); this means air quality is unhealthy for everyone. A Code ORANGE Air Quality Action Day is being issued for the remainder of the state effective midnight tonight (6/6/23) through midnight tomorrow (6/7/23); this means air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Tomorrow, expect ozone values in the upper Code Green range in the northern counties and mid-Code Yellow range in the southern counties.
Smoke will continue to impact North Carolina on both Thursday and Friday, as another plume of enhanced fine particulate values looks to edge in from the north. Right now, have forecasted Code Orange fine particulate values statewide and Code Yellow ozone values statewide for both days. This extended forecast will be fine-tuned in the coming days.
Extended Air Quality Outlook
The forecast Air Quality Index value for each pollutant represents the highest value expected within each county, so some areas and monitors may see lower values. We use the best information and techniques available to ensure the quality and accuracy of the forecasts we provide to the public. Note that ranges do not include the nine-county Triad region, which is covered by the Forsyth County Office of Environmental Assistance and Protection.
(Elevation > 4,000 feet)