Smoky conditions will linger through the weekend in the Sacramento region following a weeklong “Spare the Air” alert, although modest improvement in air quality is expected Saturday through Monday.
Friday’s weather forecast includes warm temperatures with a high of 95 degrees and winds shifting to the west, bringing smoke from the Mendocino Complex toward the Sacramento area, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Kochasic said.
Expect afternoon conditions to get pretty smoky, potentially through the evening, Kochasic said.
Friday is another “Spare the Air” day, with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District forecasting a moderately high Air Quality Index of 126, considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, pregnant women and those with heath or lung ailments. The alert advises driving less to protect air quality.
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This follows Thursday’s high AQI of 210, considered to be very unhealthy ozone levels.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 95 degrees on Saturday and 92 degrees on Sunday, Kochasic said. Though skies will be clear of clouds, expect smoke and haze throughout the weekend.
Saturday’s warm temperatures and mostly sunny skies will promote ozone formation. This, combined with wildfire smoke, will cause AQI to remain at moderate levels though Monday. The AQI forecast rises again to unhealthy levels for sensitive groups on Tuesday, according to the Sacramento region “Spare the Air” forecast.
Levels under 50 are considered good by the Sacramento air quality district. Friday morning’s AQI was 10 for Sacramento at 8:30 a.m., consistent for the area, making mornings the best time for vigorous outdoor activity.
Temperatures in the foothills will be in the upper 80s to low 90s on Saturday, cooling slightly to the mid- to upper 80s on Sunday.
Tahoe should expect to see temperatures in the upper 70s on Saturday and low to mid-70s on Sunday. Due to weather conditions, the mountains could also see smoke, “so there’s really no escaping it,” Kochasic said.