Millions of Bay Area residents have been living under hazy skies, breathing dense, smoky and frequently hazardous air. Now, the “smokestorm,” as some weather experts have dubbed the choking fog of particulate matter blanketing the region this past week, could be coming to an end.
Or at least a much needed intermission.
The air in the Bay Area is starting to gradually improve after ranging from “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to “hazardous” across the region. Despite the clearer conditions, a Bay Area Air Quality Management District Spare the Air Alert will run through Wednesday, marking a record 30 consecutive days of poor to terrible air quality. The conditions have made outdoor activity potentially dangerous.
On Tuesday, for the first time in almost a week, air district monitors displayed readings in the moderate, or yellow, range, and satellite images showed visibly lower smoke concentrations for large portions of the Bay Area.
“The winds have cleared out some of the lingering smoke,” said Ralph Borrmann, a spokesman for the air district. “Air quality is showing some improvements faster than we anticipated, but there's still smoke off the ocean, and that's lingering there.”