Air Quality

Yellow (moderate) air quality index conditions are across Iowa this afternoon.


Here is the complete Air Quality Index (AQI).



Posted under AIr Quality

This post was written by Schnack on November 14, 2017

Hazy Sky in Eastern Iowa

UPDATE at 8:00 PM: The smoke has become more widespread this evening and is the result of the poor air quality across parts of eastern Iowa.


Did you notice the haze in the sky across portions of eastern Iowa?  It’s being caused by smoke from wildfires in western United States and western Canada.  The smoke was brought down with help from a cold front that moved in from north to south across the area.


Here is a satellite view from the high resolution GOES-16 satellite.

Here is another vantage point from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Here’s an explanation from the National Weather Service in Milwaukee.  The new satellite allows us to analyze different products.

A KWWL viewer reported smelling smoke in Dubuque, where the haze was most prominent in our area Thursday afternoon.  The Air Quality Index is in Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range, which means most of us won’t be affected.  Those with lung diseases, older adults and younger children may be affected.



Posted under AIr Quality, GOES-16, GOES16, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on August 31, 2017

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Air Quality Awareness Week 2016

May 2-6, 2016 is Air Quality Awareness Week. Air quality refers to the amount of pollution in the air over the course of one day. Depending on the air quality for the day, it may be more or less difficult to simply breathe for some. Air quality is measured using the Air Quality Index (AQI). This index describes how unhealthy it is based on the levels of four pollutants – sulfur dioxide, ground level ozone, particle pollution and carbon monoxide. These pollutants have national standards in place in order to keep the public safe. AQI is measured on a scale from 0 to 500. The higher the value, the more dangerous it is to be outdoors.

The AQI is divided into six groups, each with its own color that corresponds to the level of pollution, from least to greatest:

  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Purple
  • Maroon

Green AQI values are those less than 50 and are safe for all groups. Above 100 (yellow) is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, those with lung disease and the elderly. Once the AQI is over 150 (red), the general public may begin to have health effects from pollutants in the air. More severe health issues are likely once the value is above 200 (purple). A value above 300 (maroon) would call for health alerts from the possibility of the entire public experiencing severe reactions.

More information on local air quality:
AirNow Iowa
Iowa Department of Natural Resources


Posted under AIr Quality

This post was written by Schnack on May 2, 2016

The Smell of Smoke

Don’t be surprised this evening if you smell or see smoke in the sky in eastern Iowa. After the cold front pushed through,  the smoke in the atmosphere from wildfires in Canada, is being pulled closer to the ground. I have gotten a few reports of people smelling the smoke. Visibility could be reduced to near 2 miles at times. Here is the current visibility, due to smoke, across Iowa at 7 PM.

State Visibility

Lower air quality is possible so make sure those with respiratory issues and children stay inside this evening.

Here is the latest air quality across the Midwest.

Click here to see where the active wildfires are in Canada.

Here is a visible satellite image showing where the smoke is and the red dots in Canada are the fires.


Here are a few photos of the smoke.

Weather Bug CFU

(Photo Matt Wahl…Plainfield)

(Photo Jeremy Smedsrud…Decorah)

(Photo Mike Donahue…Staceyville)


Posted under AIr Quality

This post was written by Schnack on July 6, 2015

Air Quality Alert

The Department of Natural Resources has issued an Air Quality Advisory for the entire viewing area until noon on Saturday. Fine particulate levels near EPA health standards are expected to persist across the area until noon on Saturday. The Department of Natural Resources recommends that individuals with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children limit prolonged exertion until air quality conditions improve.


Posted under AIr Quality

This post was written by Schnack on February 5, 2010