SATURDAY PM UPDATE: Mission accomplished, says CBS4 Denver:
The website IQAir.com, which tracks air quality for major cities around the world, listed Denver as the most polluted on the planet as of early Saturday afternoon. The AQI was listed as 162. Rounding out the top five list was Salt Lake City, Utah.
On the upside, you’re already supposed to be wearing a face mask.
Sorry folks, we’re just the messenger:
FOX 13 Salt Lake City reporting on behalf of our divinely undergarbed neighbors to the west:
Because of current smoke conditions, northern Utah has the worst air quality on the planet, according to IQAir, a website that monitors pollution levels around the world.
A thick haze fell on northern Utah Friday morning as winds shifted and brought in wildfire smoke from Oregon and northern California. The air quality is as bad as the worst inversion conditions found during the winter in northern Utah.
Salt Lake City and Denver, which is also being affected by out-of-state smoke, are the only two U.S. cities ranked among the top 20 most polluted areas.
The Front Range of Colorado is enjoying a slight reprieve today from the nasty air we’ve seen much of the week month summer, but the forecast for Saturday is nothing short of dismal–air quality bad enough to make outdoor activity uncomfortable even for healthy people as the smoke choking out Utah flows into Colorado. The smoke from another season of massive Western fires is bad enough, but keep in mind it’s the ground-level ozone pollution from cars and fossil fuel production giving these smoky summer afternoons an extra-special burn.
Welcome to the “new normal” in a world where human-caused climate change is now set to at least some degree take its course, after years of inadequate response to a problem we knew was building right before our eyes–but if we could mitigate the damage with better choices going forward it would be nice. Colorado may not be directly threatened by rising sea levels, but the prospect of inhaling the smoke from the Western U.S. burning to ash in the coming decades is…unappealing.
For today, all you can do is adjust your weekend plans accordingly.