Hazy skies over DC still unhealthy for sensitive groups, improving with Tuesday’s isolated storms

Though poor quality air continues to hang over the D.C. region on Tuesday, there may be relief in sight.

Though nowhere near as dense as the smoke that prompted last month’s unprecedented health alert, an unmistakable brownish haze continues to linger over downtown D.C.’s monuments Tuesday.

On Monday, air quality levels dropped to a Code Orange alert as smoke began to roll back into the region from ongoing Canadian wildfires. Air quality improved to between Code Orange and Code Yellow Tuesday morning, where it still sits around 80 AQI Tuesday afternoon.

A slow-moving cold front is approaching the D.C. region, which is expected to bring a southwesterly wind and a chance for a pop-up afternoon shower or storm, as well as improved air quality, according to 7News meteorologist Eileen Whelan.

A couple of storms could also bring damaging winds and hail.

“As we head through the latter half of the day, one or two storms could fire off, nothing too widespread but if that does come together, it could pack a punch with some heavier rains and gusty winds,” van de Graaff said.

A yellow alert means airborne pollutants could affect those who are unusually sensitive to particle pollution. Consider avoiding strenuous outdoor activities and watch for symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website offers a free way to check current air pollution and forecasts for your neighborhood. It also has apps for Apple and Android phones.


Tuesday: Hazy sunshine. Isolated evening thunderstorm possible. Temperatures in the mid 80s. Heat Index: 93-98.

Tuesday evening: Possible isolated afternoon storms will continue with isolated showers overnight. Temperatures dropping from mid 80s to lower 70s overnight.

Wednesday Partly sunny and particularly humid. Stray storms possible in the morning, isolated thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. Highs in the mid-80s.

Thursday: Partly cloudy with morning fog. Humidity giving way to scattered evening showers and storms, some may be heavy. Heat Index: 90-95. Highs in the mid-80s to low 90s.

Current conditions:

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

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