UPDATE: 6/7/2023, 2:15 p.m.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Air Quality Index in part of West Virginia, including the Morgantown area, is now reading as unhealthy, according to AirNow, a partner website of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As of Wednesday afternoon, the AirNow map is now showing a large portion of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle as well as cell south of Pittsburgh that includes the northern part of Monongalia County and another over Moundsville and New Martinsville, are all considered “unhealthy.” All of the rest of north central West Virginia and the Northern and Eastern panhandles are considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”
The AirNow forecast map for Wednesday also predicts that almost all of north central West Virginia—as far south as Braxton County—and the Northern Panhandle will be considered unhealthy.
Parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have an AQI considered “very unhealth” or “hazardous,” but those levels are not expected to reach as south as West Virginia at this point.
To see the most updated AQI for your area, look at the AirNow AQI map here.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Smoke from wildfires in Quebec, Canada has been looming over West Virginia for several days.
More than 100 fires currently burning in Quebec, and haze from the smoke can be seen across West Virginia, from Clarksburg, to Charleston, to high elevations like Spruce Knob.
As of Tuesday morning, the smoke across almost all of West Virginia is considered moderate. On Monday, some areas, including Charleston and Huntington, had what was considered thick smoke, but that has since changed to just moderate.
NBC reported on Monday that the air quality in much of the north eastern U.S. was affected by the fires, calling air quality conditions “dangerous” in some areas. Specifically, parts of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin were under air quality advisories, according to NBC. But even places as far south as the Ohio Valley, which includes West Virginia’s northern panhandle, could be affected by poor air quality from the smoke, reported sister station WTRF.
At this point, no air conditions in any part of West Virginia are considered unhealthy. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Air Quality Index (AQI) for June 6 says that Charleston and Moundsville had moderate air quality conditions due to “PM2.5” pollution, or tiny particles in the air. The other seven cities on the index, including Clarksburg, all had good air quality.
Google Maps U.S. AQI map says that parts of Marshall, Wetzel, Kanawha, Boone, Fayette and Berkeley counties had an AQI in the moderate range as of 2 p.m. Tuesday. It also said that parts of Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties had AQI in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” or “unhealthy” range.
For those in areas with moderate air quality, the DEP says that the quality is acceptable, but those who are affected by underlying lung conditions like asthma or COPD should limit their time outdoors.