The National Mall fireworks show attracted thousands to D.C. and lit up the sky in a beautiful display, but it also left lingering smoke and triggered air quality alerts into Wednesday morning.
While air quality has improved from Tuesday night, a “Code Orange” air quality alert is forecast through Thursday. That’s in part due to fireworks leaving behind pollution and also because of ground-level ozone, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
“We’re looking at some very unhealthy levels across parts of our area,” 7News Chief Meteorologist Veronica Johnson said. “There’s no fireworks display that was bigger than what was happening over D.C., and with the winds being out of the west and southwest, we’re seeing some of the fine particle pollutants being carried into Northern Prince George’s County.”
Under a “Code Orange,” air is unhealthy for people in sensitive groups, such as those with heart or lung disease, kids and older adults. People in those groups should limit time outside.
Late Tuesday night, much of the region was put under a “Code Red” and parts of eastern Maryland, which means air is unhealthy for everyone.
Soon after fireworks displays, D.C. was upgraded to an elevated alert, a “Code Purple,” for several hours. A purple alert means air quality was very unhealthy for everyone and officials recommended avoiding strenuous or long outdoor activities.
That “Code Purple” and “Code Red” were downgraded early Wednesday morning though the area remains on alert for unhealthy air. You can check current air quality on AirNow.
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WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny. Stray PM storms. Winds: Northwest 3-8 mph. Highs near 90.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Scattered clouds. Winds: Light. Lows in the mid 60s to mid 70s.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Isolated PM storms. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph. Highs near 90.
FRIDAY: Partly cloudy. Scattered PM storms. Winds: Southeast 5-10. Highs near 90.
WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer and Ivy Lyons contributed to this report.