Smoke may start to clear in Calgary after expected rain this weekend, says forecaster

After a couple more smoky days in Calgary, there may be some clearer days ahead.

David Lyder, a senior air modelling standards engineer with Alberta Environment and Parks, says he expects there may be some smoke relief on Sunday due to rain in the forecast.

“So a little bit of cooling on the weekend and then some rain on Sunday,” he said. “That will help clear out the current smoke in the atmosphere … that will help wash it out.”

However, the forecaster says to really get rid of the smoke, there needs to be rain in B.C., where wildfires are still burning.

“We need some rain in the mountains where the fires are. And I think there is some expectation of some rain over the weekend as well,” Lyder said.

Smoke is also coming from wildfires in Saskatchewan, which is leading the country in terms of areas considered to have “extreme fire risk.”

The engineer says there really needs to be an extended steady rain, without any lightning, in order to see some changes in the atmosphere.

This aerial view of forest fire smoke over the Rocky Mountains was shot last month. (Scott Crowson/CBC)

“We probably need a nice, gentle rain for about a week across Western Canada to really cool things off and, you know, put some of the fires out and provide some relief for the firefighters, too,” Lyder said.

The Calgary air quality health index on Thursday was sitting at three, which is a low risk for people who don’t have heath conditions.

Environment Canada forecasts a 30 per cent of chance of showers on Friday and a 60 per cent chance of rain on Sunday.

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